Federal judge verifies $14.2 million verdict in Oklahoma bottled water case

A federal judge ordered Nestle Waters North America to pay $14.2 million to Oklahoma City-based Eureka Water Company in a three-year legal battle over the distribution of Ozarka, The Oklahoman reported. McAfee & Taft attorneys Bob Gilliland and Ron Shinn tried the case for Eureka.

In June, a federal jury returned a verdict in favor of Eureka in its lawsuit against Nestle Waters North America, Inc., the world largest bottled water company, after a four-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The case involved Eureka’s licensing rights to the name Ozarka in 60 Oklahoma counties. Eureka contended that its license was exclusive and covered all Ozarka products. Nestle contended Eureka’s license was limited to two specific types of bottled water.

The jury awarded damages of $9.2 million for Eureka’s breach of contract claim and an additional $5 million for Eureka’s tortious interference with business relations claim. The jury also found against Nestle on all of its counterclaims.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange affirmed those verdicts and declared that “the 1975 agreement grants Eureka certain exclusive rights to market all Ozarka water products in its Oklahoma territory,” The Oklahoman reported.