US private-label infant formula maker PBM Products has won a damages case against baby food giant Mead Johnson Nutrition.

PBM's lawsuit claimed that Mead Johnson had engaged in false and misleading campaigns against its store-brand infant formulas.

The company firm said Mead Johnson had falsely claimed the private-label products did not provide the same nutrition as its more expensive brands.

A court in Virginia awarded some US$13.5m in damages to PBM, which makes infant formulas to retailers like Wal-Mart Stores, Target Corp. and Kroger.

"This decision by a jury of the people confirms that Mead Johnson's ads have been false in suggesting that there is a nutritional difference between our store-brand formula products and their products - when in fact the only major difference is price," said PBM CEO Paul Manning.

"Despite Mead Johnson's scare tactics, parents are assured that PBM's formula products are as high quality and nutritious as Mead Johnson's."

PBM said the case was the third time it had sued Mead Johnson for false advertising claims. On the other two occasions, Mead Johnson admitted that it made false claims about PBM's products, the private-label group said.