MUNCHKIN, INC. WINS OVER $13 MILLION IN FALSE ADVERTISING DISPUTE AGAINST PLAYTEX
Jury Finds Playtex Products, LLC Liable for Misleading Odor Control Claims About Its Diaper Genie® Elite Diaper Pail
NORTH HILLS, Calif. (July 26, 2012)- Munchkin, Inc., leading designer and manufacturer of infant and toddler products, today announced the company has received a favorable jury verdict and a $13.492 million damages award in its false advertising lawsuit against Playtex Products, LLC (“Playtex”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Energizer Holdings, Inc., and maker of the Diaper Genie®.
On July 20, 2012, a federal jury found that Playtex's advertising of its Diaper Genie Elite as “Proven #1 In Odor Control” was literally false, and that Playtex deliberately sought to deceive consumers. The jury further found that Playtex's false advertising had deceived a “substantial number of consumers,” and that its statements had likely affected consumers' purchasing decisions. In addition, the jury ruled 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.
Munchkin, Inc. was represented by its in-house counsel, Petty Rader, and partners from Lathrop & Gage's intellectual property practice, R. Cameron Garrison, David Barnard, and Travis McCallon.
The $13.492 million in damages 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. Munchkin is pleased with the jury's verdict. Munchkin embraces fair and honest competition, which tend to benefit the consumer and improve the level of baby products and services offered in the marketplace. Munchkin looks forward to the entry of a final judgment so that it can begin its corrective advertising campaign to remediate the false messages by Playtex.
The ARM & HAMMER™ Diaper Pail by Munchkin neutralizes odors in the nursery through a patented odor control system with the power of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda at its core. The Diaper Pail has won numerous awards, including the 2011 American Baby Bests, Babble.com Best Diaper Pails in 2011 and 2012, and SheKnows.com 2010 Parents' Choice award. For more information, visit www.munchkin.com.
About Munchkin, Inc.
A privately held, global company headquartered in North Hills, Calif., Munchkin, Inc. creates baby products that excite, delight and make life easier for today's parents. Founded in 1991, Munchkin, Inc. has always placed great emphasis on innovation, redefining what baby products can achieve. As a result, Munchkin has reinvigorated the category with improvements such as a 2-in-1 bottle brush design and White Hot® Technology that lets moms know if the bath water or the car interior is too hot. A strategic partnership with Church and Dwight resulted in a line of diapering products that work with pure, natural baking soda, including the ARM & HAMMER™ Diaper Pail by Munchkin, winner of the American Baby Award. In January of 2010, Munchkin acquired Lindam Ltd., the U.K.'s top baby safety brand and subsequently launched a line of safety gates and accessories in North America. Munchkin, Inc. has won more than 40 industry awards, including multiple wins of the coveted Target® Corporation Partner Award of Excellence and the Toys “R” Us 2012 Vendor of the Year award. Endorsed and recommended by sleep and safety experts, medical professionals, toy specialists and parents, Munchkin products can be found at retail outlets internationally. For more information, visit www.munchkin.com.