A California man has filed a class action lawsuit against popular water filtration company Brita, claiming the message on the packaging is misleading.
Nicholas Brown of Los Angeles claimed that the filter in the Brita does not remove or reduce levels of potentially hazardous substances in drinking water.
Brown bought a Brita Everyday Water Pitcher for $15 in early 2022 and claimed he bought the product based on what it said on the box, including “FRESH FILTER = FRESHER WATER” and “Reduces 30 pollutants including lead, benzene, mercury, Cadmium, asbestos, and more,” reads a 71-page legal document obtained from Reuters.
The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court, Los Angeles, alleges that the company “falsely and misleadingly markets the ability of its water jugs to remove common hazardous contaminants “below laboratory-detectable limits.” , advertised, labeled and packaged”. ”
Brown also claimed that the filter does not remove or reduce “the most dangerous, notorious, or prevalent pollutants” from tap water, including two types of PFAS, also known as perennial chemicals, and that the company is taking advantage of consumers’ and families’ “essential quality.” and a fundamental need for clean and safe drinking water.”
“Unfortunately, the products are not nearly as effective as Defendant intentionally wants people to believe, resulting in consumers overpaying millions and forgoing more effective alternatives,” the lawsuit reads. “In doing so, the defendant has not only robbed consumers of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains, but has also endangered the health and well-being of millions of consumers and their families.”
Brown and his attorneys at the Clarkson law firm alleged that Brita violated California false advertising and unfair competition statutes, as well as “unjust enrichment and breach of warranty”.
While Brown is currently the sole plaintiff, he seeks to represent consumers who have purchased certain Brita-branded water jugs, dispensers and filters within a reasonable time, as well as any California resident consumer who has purchased any of those products within the past four years, so the website TopClassActions.
Brita has denied the allegations, saying they are “baseless” and “baseless”.
In an opinion on it TODAY.com, a spokesman for Clorox Company, of which Brita is a part, said: “Brita takes the transparency of the water filtration options we offer seriously. Our products include a standard filtration option that improves the taste and odor of tap water and has been shown to reduce identified contaminants, as communicated.”
The company noted that the Brita Elite Pour-Through and Brita Hub products are NSF ANSI 53 certified – which sets minimum requirements for drinking water treatment systems – to reduce PFOS and PFOA chemicals as well as lead and other contaminants.
Brita also claimed that the certifications are based on “best” test methods, which show the products reduce pollutants to or below the maximum allowable levels set by the EPA or other regulators.
“The latest lawsuit does not call into question the effectiveness of Brita’s filters in relation to these certification standards. Instead, the baseless lawsuit suggests Brita lists all the pollutants its filters fail to remove. In fact, there is no such legal requirement or industry standard,” the statement continued. “This baseless lawsuit is like suing a drug manufacturer for not listing the conditions its drugs don’t treat, or a food manufacturer for not listing the nutrients its foods don’t contain. It creates a false narrative and confuses consumers looking for filtration solutions that meet their needs.
“Brita follows industry practice to clearly list what pollutants are reduced by its filters and the methods used to support those claims. Brita firmly believes that this approach is the most transparent and easy to understand for consumers.”
In response to the statement, the Clarkson law firm issued a press release to TODAY.com that said, “Everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, has a fundamental right to clean and safe drinking water.”
“Laffing customers with a false sense of security about the quality and safety of their water is not only immoral, it’s illegal,” said Managing Partner Ryan Clarkson.
“These chemicals pose an enormous threat to our health and our future” added Clarkson’s partner Katherine A. Bruce. “Brita is aware of the health implications, but has taken an active decision to withhold customers from the information they need to protect themselves and their families. With this lawsuit, we want to hold them accountable.”