Class action lawsuit against Brita claims its filters are “not nearly as effective” as advertised

A California man alleged the popular water filtration system falsely advertised its products' abilities

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published August 31, 2023 1:15PM (EDT)

The logo of German water filtration company Brita (DANIEL ROLAND/AFP via Getty Images)
The logo of German water filtration company Brita (DANIEL ROLAND/AFP via Getty Images)

A California man is suing Brita, alleging that the manufacturer of a popular water filtration system "falsely and misleadingly markets, advertises, labels and packages" its products' ability to remove potentially hazardous contaminants from drinking water. The complaint was filed on August 16 by Nicholas Brown in the Superior Court of the State of California County of Los Angeles. According to the 71-page legal filing obtained by Reuters, Brown purchased a Brita Everyday Water Pitcher for $15 in early 2022. He said he was encouraged to buy the pitcher because of some of the statements printed on its packaging, including "FRESH FILTER = FRESHER WATER" and "Reduces 30 contaminants including Lead, Benzene, Mercury, Cadmium, Asbestos, and More."

In the lawsuit, Brown alleged that those statements are "false," adding that the pitcher, which he regarded as a "water treatment device" based on its labels and packaging, "does not remove or reduce common contaminants [...] to below lab detectable limits." Brown is seeking a jury trial and "monetary recovery of the price premium" he "overpaid" for himself and other consumers who have purchased Brita-branded products, as well as California-based consumers who have purchased such products within the past four years. Additionally, Brown is asking the court to order Brita "to change its business practices" by either removing or tweaking its packaging, or changing the filters so that they "live up to" to their claims.

In a statement sent to Nextar Media, representatives for Brita said the company "[looks] forward to defending ourselves vigorously" against Brown. "Brita takes the transparency of the variety of water filtration options we offer seriously," they added.