Sparkling water company LaCroix is facing another lawsuit over allegations that parent company National Beverage Corporation has misrepresented that cans of the fizzy drink is completely free of Bisphenol A. You might know this toxic chemical more commonly as BPA.
Filed on Thursday in Passaic Superior Court the suit alleges that former LaCroix executive Albert Dejewski was wrongly fired after writing an email to National Beverage Corporation President Joseph Caporella which objected to the company’s plan to publicly announce its packaging is BPA free. National Beverage, of course, denies these claims have merit.
Actually, in a statement, National Beverage argues “false statements were made in litigation brought by a former employee seeking to extract monetary recovery from the company.”
LaCroix claims that all cans produced for their beverages do not have BPA liners. However, the company also stated that the FDA claim BPA liners are safe and pose no health risk to consumers at the trace levels that might be found from its use in food and beverage can liners.
This marks the second lawsuit against LaCroix, this year alone. In October, another suit alleged the company had also embellished on claims that its beverage products were “all-natural” when, in fact, they definitely contain artificial ingredients. LaCroix denies this is true.
The National Beverage Corporation statement goes on to say, “We intend to vigorously defend our company and our brands against false claims brought by this disgruntled former employee.”
Regardless of any validity or truth—in any regard—shares of National Beverage Corporation suffered after the announcement, falling more than 10 percent on Tuesday. This year, the company’s stock has fallen to a 52-week low of $42.49 in early day trading, but started a rebound in the afternoon. Still, the stock closed at $45.15, which is down nearly 5 percent on the day.
In all, Tuesday’s stumble is just the latest in a consistent monthly slip for National Beverage. Over the last year, National Beverage shares—which currently have a market value of $2.1 billion—has plummeted 55 percent, down from its high of $123.27, in September.