9th Circuit Rejects Appeal in Nestlè Bottled Water Mislabeling Lawsuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a class action complaint last week that alleges Nestlè Waters North America Inc. used misleading labels on one of its bottled water products. 

Nestlè’s Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water depicts a lake and mountains on the front label of its bottles, and the six California springs the bottled water is sourced from are listed on the back label. Plaintiff Connie Chong claims the product name and front label mislead consumers into believing the water is sourced entirely from the Arrowhead Springs, and that she would not have purchased the product if she knew the water was sourced from springs other than Arrowhead. 

A Central District Court of California judge dismissed the case with prejudice in November 2020, and the Court of Appeals upheld the decision last Friday, stating that Chong’s claims of unjust enrichment and violations under California consumer protection laws were not justified. 

“The district court properly accepted as true that Chong believed that the mountain on the front of the labels was ‘Arrowhead Mountain,’ but upon reviewing the labels submitted for judicial notice by Nestlé, determined that there was not ‘any indication that the image of the mountain and lake refer to any specific mountain or lake, but rather to the true statement that Arrowhead Water is comprised entirely of mountain spring water,’” the Court of Appeals stated in its opinion.

“The court was correct to find that this case ‘presents the rare case where this Court may conclude on the pleadings that no reasonable consumer would be misled by any of the product labels at issue in this suit.’”

The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Office of Juan Hong.

The defendants are represented by White & Case LLP