April 1, 2019
No April Fool’s gag here. According to this article in the New York Times, a class-action suit has been filed against Poland Spring on the grounds that the water doesn’t actually come from a spring.
The merits of the lawsuit aside, I’m always impressed by the economics of class action lawsuits. The suit alleges that some 13 million consumers have been bamboozled by the company, and while it does not specify the damages that the plaintiffs seek, it alleges that the brand’s sales amounted to between $300 million and $900 million over each of the past few years. Suppose, hypothetically, that the lawyers end up settling the case (or obtaining a jury verdict) in the amount of $30 million (which is, I think, overly optimistic, but stay with me here). The lawyers would take a third of that (or, if my math is correct, $10 million). The balance, $20 million, would be split among all of the members of the class, which is the 13 million consumers. They would each get $1.54.
Which would be enough to buy each of them a bottle of Poland Spring water.