The Consumer Product Safety Commission has filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the sale of Buckyballs, a popular magnetic desk toy that the CPSC complaint says presents "a substantial product hazard."
Despite labeling changes designating the product for use only by those age 14 or older and package warnings about potentially life-threatening injuries that can occur if the tiny high-powered magnets are swallowed, the agency has received mounting reports of children swallowing Buckyballs. Many of the children required surgery as a result.
The CPSC complaint asks that Buckyballs maker Maxfield & Oberton stop importing and selling Buckyballs and Buckycubes, a related product. The agency also wants the company to notify consumers who have purchased the products of their risks and to provide refunds to them.
"We have tried to work with the company to put a recall into place and the company did not agree," says Patty Davis, a CPSC spokeswoman. "The bottom line is that incidents and injuries are still happening. We have exhausted the possibilities and we have an obligation to protect children and that is what this is all about."
Craig Zucker, founder and CEO of Maxfield & Oberton, said in a public statement that the company would fight the action. "Obviously the bureaucrats see danger everywhere, and those responsible people--like our company who have vigorously promoted safety and appropriate use of our products--gets put out of business by an unfair and arbitrary process," Zucker said.
CPSC Sues Zen Magnets Over Hazardous, High-Powered Magnetic Balls [CPSC]
CPSC Sues Maxfield & Oberton Over Hazardous Buckyballs® and Buckycube™ Desk Toys [CPSC]
Maxfield and Oberton Statement on Recent CPSC Action to Put Company Out of Business [PRNewswire]