Girardi | Keese

Buckyballs is sued after children swallow product

Did you know that there is something in your home that may serve as a dangerous hazard to your children? The maker of the popular desk item Buckyballs has been sued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after dozens of cases have emerged where children have swallowed the magnetic balls and have required surgery to remove them and repair internal damage.

So far, California residents will be shocked to learn that 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 the dangerous product altogether.

CPSC has asserted that Buckyballs and similar products pose a "substantial product hazard," and that warnings for the product are inefficient. The CPSC also indicated that the packaging is not childproof. The Commission is asking the company to stop selling Buckyballs and similar products and to refund consumers money. Since 2009, over two million sets of the product have sold. The manufacturer's comments on the suit have been negative toward the CPSC.

As with many dangerous household items, the case with Buckyballs is that it is a seemingly harmless desk toy that comes with allegedly ineffective warnings. 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 individuals who are injured (or their parents) 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: USA Today, "Feds file suit against Buckyballs, retailers ban product," Jayne O'Donnell, July 26, 2012

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