A Connecticut law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against the owner of Poland Spring, claiming the company’s source for its Maine bottled water is not a spring.

The case is not a first: Nestlé Waters, which owns Poland Spring, was sued 14 years ago on similar claims and another Nestlé Water brand was sued in a similar case in Illinois in 2012.

The label says “Natural Spring Water From Maine Since 1845.”

In 2003, the company was sued, also in Connecticut, because its advertising suggested that the water in Poland Spring came from a source deep in the woods of Maine when, in fact, the principal source was located near a parking lot. That suit was settled with Nestlé Waters offering about $8 million in consumer discounts and more than $2 million in charitable donations.

Nestlé, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, owns a number of regional bottled water brands. The water originally came from Poland Spring, but now the company draws its water from sources throughout the state, including in Hollis and Fryeburg.

The latest suit, filed on behalf of 11 consumers, alleges that Poland Spring’s bottles are inaccurately labeled as spring water. It is seeking at least $5 million in damages.

“Breaching and exploiting is customers’ trust to reap massive undue sales and profits is (the) defendant’s entire business model,” the suit alleges.

The lawsuit claims that Poland Springs’ water comes not from a spring but instead is “ordinary groundwater” from wells.

“The claims made in the lawsuit are without merit and an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain,” a spokeswoman for Nestlé Waters North America said Wednesday. “Poland Spring is 100 percent spring water…. We remain highly confident in our legal position.”

The company said it meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations defining spring water, all state regulations governing spring classifications, and regulations governing spring water collection, product quality and labeling.

Edward Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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