New Jersey Parents Beware Dangerous Product Posing As Desk Toy

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On July 9 we wrote about the dangers of magnetic products for children in a post titled, “Magnet ingestions highlight dangerous product parts.” Since that report was issued, more specific cases have emerged that shine a light on a dangerous product that many New Jersey residents may have in their home or office. The latest major case involves the Consumer Product Safety Commission suing a product maker due to the risk to children.

The maker of the popular desk item Buckyballs has been sued by the CPSC after dozens of cases have emerged where children have swallowed the Buckyball magnetic balls and similar products made by competitors and have required surgery to remove them and repair intestinal damage. So far, at least 12 cases of children requiring surgery have been directly related to Buckyballs. In response to the suit, several retailers have agreed to stop selling any of the magnetic ball products.

The CPSC asserts that Buckyballs and products like them pose a “substantial product hazard,” and that warnings to that fact haven’t worked. The CPSC also indicated that the packaging is not childproof. The Commission is asking the company to stop selling Buckyballs and a related product called Buckycubes, to refund consumers’ money and to issue warnings through online seller websites. Since 2009, over two million sets of the products have been sold. The manufacturer’s comments on the suit have been negative toward the CPSC.

Many household products can be considered a dangerous product when used incorrectly. The case with Buckyballs is that it is a seemingly harmless desk toy that comes with allegedly ineffective warnings to deter parents from allowing their children to play with them.

When magnetic products such as Buckyballs are ingested, they can travel into the bowels, requiring hospital stays and surgeries. When this happens, it is the right of New Jersey residents who are injured to seek to hold the manufacturer accountable. One way to do this is through a product liability claim which may help families recoup financial losses due to medical expenses and other damages relating to a dangerous product.

Source: USAToday.com, “Feds file suit against Buckyballs, retailers ban product,” Jayne O’Donnell, July 26, 2012

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