National Beverage Stock Continues Multi-Month Tumble As It Faces New Lawsuit

National Beverage Stocks
A trader looks at his screen as he prepares for the day on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York (Photo: Reuters / Lucas Jackson)

Stock prices for the company that produces the popular LaCroix sparkling water brand have tumbled this week following news of a lawsuit against it. National Beverage shares dipped to a 52-week low of just $42.49 per share.

The suit against the company alleges that its president had the intention of falsely claiming that its water bottles did not contain any toxic chemicals.

National Beverage stocks have been dropping since last year, falling more than 55 percent over the past 12 months. Stock prices in September of last year were trading at a high of around $123.27. Prices have gone down to as low as $42.49 this week before rebounding to $45.15 per share at the end of the trading day on Tuesday.

Aside from its LaCroix sparkling water, National Beverage also produces other popular drinks such as Ohana Punch, Cascadia Clear, Big Shot, Everfresh, Faygo, and Shasta.

A former National Beverage employee named Albert Dejewski filed the claim in New Jersey this week. Dejewski claims that he was wrongly fired after he refused to go along with the plan for the company's president to lie about its water bottles not containing any toxic chemicals, specifically the chemical Bisphenol A or BPA.

The suit named the current president of National Beverage, Joseph Caporella, as a defendant.

According to Dejewski, who served as the company's vice president, Caporella apparently planned to make an announcement stating that their sparkling water was BPA-free. Dejewski objected to the plan explaining that the company's LaCroix cans were still four months away from being BPA-free. Dejewski was allegedly fired a day after his objection in retaliation.

In response to the suit against it, National Beverage had released a statement claiming that they had converted to BPA-free liners almost two years ago. The company also stated that all of its LaCroix beverages were produced in cans without BPA liners.

The firm also stated that the US Department of Food and Drugs (FDA) had approved BPA liners, which were safe and posed no risk to users given the low trace levels found in can linings on food and beverage products.

National Beverage denied all of the allegations against it and claimed that the suit was nothing more than false statements by a disgruntled former employee.

The company also discredited the litigation as just a way to extract money from it using false claims. National Beverage previously faced a similar lawsuit last year, which claimed that it was mislabeling its LaCroix products as "all-natural."

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