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Plaintiffs Ask Court To Deny Motion For Summary Judgment In Water Labeling Class Action Lawsuit Against Nestle

Frankfurt, Germany - April 15, 2019. The image shows Nestle Headquarters with the famous blue logo. Nestlé is the biggest food producer in the world and located in Vevey, Switzerland

On Tuesday, a class of plaintiffs filed an opposition to Nestle’s motion for partial summary judgement, which was submitted in the District of Connecticut. Nestle is currently the defendant in the class action lawsuit regarding the labeling of their Poland Springs water bottles.

The lawsuit was brought in August 2017, when the plaintiffs accused Nestle of common-law fraud, breach of contract, consumer protection violations and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The complaint claimed that the defendant falsely brands their Poland Springs water product as “spring water.”

The putative class includes people in eight different northeastern states who have purchased Poland Springs for consumptive purposes any time after November 5, 2003. Nestle previously cited the inaccuracy of the timeline, based on the statute of limitations for the crime, as their reason for requesting summary judgement, as Law Street reported previously.

The first retort from the plaintiffs was that the court should rule Nestle’s motion an improper successive motion. “All facts on which Nestlé relies were available when Nestlé filed its first summary judgment motion over two years ago, and nothing prevented Nestlé from raising its limitations arguments then. In such circumstances, a successive summary judgment motion is procedurally improper,” the opposition said. 

Secondly, the plaintiffs asserted that Nestlé wrongly cited Connecticut limitations periods related to its claims.  They said that the defendant’s motion relied on an inaccurate application of law that is contrary to a previous Connecticut Supreme Court precedent. The opposition document explained that “Connecticut’s limitations period does not govern Plaintiffs’ claims under other states’ consumer protection laws. Rather, the timeliness of Plaintiffs’ statutory claims under Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire law is governed by those states’ own limitation periods and tolling doctrines.”

Lastly, the plaintiffs alleged that Nestlé’s motion fails on its merits for numerous reasons, including failing to show that applicable limitations periods have expired and inaccurately assessing the applicable limitations periods. They also claimed that  “there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether tolling applies to all of Plaintiffs’ claims under the laws of Connecticut and the foreign class states.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Susman Godfrey. The defendant is represented by Orloff Lowenbach Stifelman & Siegel, Farella Braun + Martel, and Day Pitney.

Based on these assertions, plaintiffs requested that the Court deny Nestlé’s Motion for partial summary judgment. 

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