Munchkin Inc., of North Hills, a designer and manufacturer of infant and toddler products, announced July 26 that a federal jury in Los Angeles awarded it $13.5 million in its false advertising lawsuit against Playtex Products LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energizer Holdings, Inc., and maker of the Diaper Genie.

On July 20 a federal jury found Playtex’s advertising of its Diaper Genie Elite as “Proven #1 In Odor Control” to be false and that Playtex’s statements had likely affected consumers’ purchasing decisions. The jury also found that Playtex had intentionally sought to deceive consumers in advertising that its Pink Pail diaper pail was “#1 Recommended Among 1st Time Moms.”

The jury also issued a defense verdict in favor of Munchkin on all of Playtex's counterclaims, finding that Munchkin’s advertising claims stating its ARM & HAMMER Diaper Pail by Munchkin is “The New #1 in Odor Control—Proven Better at Odor Control than Diaper Genie II and Diaper Genie II Elite in a Laboratory Test” and “Preferred by Moms 2 to 1 over Diaper Genie II in an independent, national in-home study with 100 moms” were neither false nor misleading.

The $13.492 million award by the jury in the United States District Court for the Central District of California is still subject to post-trial motions and a final judgment.

Darlene Ricker