The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is suing the manufacturer, Maxfield & Oberton, for injuries caused by ingesting magnets. The lawsuit stems from a number of incidences where children suffered harm after swallowing magnets contained in their Buckyballs and Buckycube desk toys.
Allegations made by CPSC include defects in the:
- instructions; and
As a result of these defects, they pose a risk of serious injury to consumers.
Because the company refused to issue a voluntary recall on the toys, CPSC took legal action. Although they did recall some of the product in 2010 to change the instructions from Ages 13+ to not suitable for children under the age of 14, reports began to come in concerning injuries.
The magnets were swallowed by young children and teenagers alike. As a result, several suffered internal injuries that required surgery. Some of the older children who swallowed the magnets did so accidentally when they tried to mimic piercings of the cheek, lip or tongue.
It becomes especially dangerous when more than one magnet is swallowed, as they can attract to each other through the walls of the stomach and intestines.
When swallowed, a Buckyball can cause:
- blood poisoning; and
- even death if not immediately diagnosed.
CPSC is asking for the manufacturer to stop the selling of the products, notify consumers of the defects and then offer a full refund on the product. Already several retailers have stopped selling these and similar products that may pose the same hazard.
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