Former National Beverage Employee Alleges Company Falsely Claims Its Cans Are Chemical-Free

National Beverage Corp (FIZZ) was down 7% Tuesday afternoon, recovering moderately from a more than 10% decline to its lowest share price since March 2016 that followed reports the sparkling water seller falsely claimed its metal containers were free of toxic chemicals.

According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Business Insider, National Beverage president Joseph Caporella in April wanted to say cans of its LaCroix sparkling water did not contain Bisphenol A – an artificial chemical more commonly known as BPA that changes how the body reacts to endocrine and other hormones – as part of efforts to drive positive publicity for the brand.

The suit was filed last week in Passaic Superior Court in New Jersey by a former employee who said Caporella first threatened him in an email message and then later fired him during a telephone call on April 11, or less than two days after he raised concerns about the company’s BPA-free claims, according to the report.

The complaint cites text messages the former employee had exchanged with another coworker contending Caporella planned to say “we are BPA Free when we are not,” later stating it “feels like an integrity issue now” because National Beverage at the time was still at least four to six months away from eliminating BPA from its cans. The suit is seeking damages for lost salary and benefits, as well as pain and suffering, BI reported.

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