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CPSC Sues Buckyballs Maker to Pull the Dangerous Toys From the Market

We have reported on the warnings issued by both the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and by health advocates in the UK regarding children ingesting Buckyballs, a set of round, high-powered magnets that are meant to be used by adults as a stress-relieving desk toy.

When multiple magnets are swallowed, they often adhere through the intestines or bowel causing obstructions and/or tears in the intestinal lining.  Immediate surgery is necessary to prevent further damage and to remove the magnets and repair the damage.

Since the CPSC issued the warning in November, however, it has received over one dozen reports of children ingesting the magnets, many of which required surgical intervention. Now, the CPSC has filed an administrative complaint against Maxfield & Oberton Holdings LLC, the toymakers, “alleging that Buckyballs and Buckycubes contain a defect in the design, packaging, warnings, and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury to the public.”

While Maxfield & Oberton issued a voluntary recall in May 2010 after the CPSC initially warned of a swallowing hazard to young children, it has continued to produce and sell the product.  In light of this new complaint, however, the company is vigorously defending its Buckyballs product through its website.  The following was posted this week:

You might have heard there’s a problem with our products…

THIS IS NOT TRUE.

A government agency (the Consumer Product Safety Commission) is saying they should be recalled because children occasionally get ahold of them. This is unfair. We market exclusively to adults. We are vigorously defending our right to market these products you love. Let us know how you feel about this: Comment on Facebook; send a tweet; tell your friends; complain loudly; or just buy a set to stick it to the CPSC.

The CPSC contends the warnings issued indicating the product should be kept from children are ineffective and defective because once the magnets are removed from the carrying case the warning is no longer visible and that the magnets are shared among children who have not seen the warning.

The CPSC has taken an aggressive stance against this product.  According to Time, the CPSC has convinced retailers, including Amazon.com, to stop selling Buckyballs.

Our Pennsylvania product liability attorneys will continue to watch this issue and will keep you informed.  We applaud the government for taking this strong stance against this dangerous product.  We continue to ask all parents to closely inspect any toys with embedded magnets that could come loose.  It is critical that you take away any toys that could pose a hazard to your child.  If you believe your child was injured by a dangerous or defective toy, you may be eligible for compensation.

About Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

Munley Law is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. To contact the law firm, use the firm’s online contact form.

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