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August 6, 2012 / Alison Wilson

Lawsuit Filed After Hundreds of Children Injured by Magnetic Toy

Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed a complaint against Maxfield and Oberton, the makers of high-powered magnets called Buckyballs.   Buckyballs were originally released in 2009 and marketed to children as a toy and have since been rebranded as an “adult executive desk toy.”

The CPSC reports that the magnets are up to eight times more powerful than magnets that are usually used in toys.  If two or more of the magnets are swallowed they can pinch the intestinal walls causing tissue damage, inflammation, ulceration, and even perforate internal organs.  The magnets are so powerful that kids and teens are using them to mimic body piercings.  In January of this year, a 10-year-old girl used two of the magnets to mimic a tongue piercing and had to undergo an appendectomy after accidently swallowing them.

According to a press release issued by the CPSC, the magnets were recalled in May 2010 for violating a federal regulation that prohibits the sale of powerful magnets to children under the age of 14.   At that time, Buckyballs were labeled for use by children “ages 13+.”  Changes were made to the label and packaging of the product, but according to the complaint, ingestion incidents requiring surgery continue to occur.   The complaint alleges that hundreds of children have been injured.

If you have been injured by any product, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.


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