Maxfield & Oberton, manufacturer of the toys Buckyballs and Buckycube, has been sued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over hazards posed by those products. These products both include high-powered rare earth magnets that have been shown to pose a substantial risk of injury to people, particularly children, under certain circumstances. Following the failure of an effort to negotiate a voluntary recall with the manufacturer, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint.
Buckyballs and Buckycube both include high-powered rare earth magnets that have caused injuries resulting in surgeries in several instances. In total, the CPSC has learned that there are over two dozen such incidents related to these products that have occurred since 2009. These products were labeled as being safe for people ages 13 and up but, following investigation, it was found that they did not meet the requirements for that safety label.
Each of these sets includes up to 216 of the powerful magnets, according to a press release by the CPSC. These magnets can pose a risk of serious injury and even death under certain circumstances.
The injuries were reported when the magnets were ingested accidentally or intentionally by young children and teenagers. When the magnets enter the stomach and intestinal tract, the attraction between them is powerful enough that they can make holes in the digestive system or stick together through the tissues of the digestive system, causing an array of problems. The problems can range from obstructions to blood poisoning to death and, because of that, the CPSC was demanding a recall. The current lawsuit seeks to stop Maxfield & Oberton from selling these products any longer.
Some of the injuries were caused when very young children swallowed the magnets. Other injuries were caused because teenagers and older children were using the magnets to imitate lip piercings and tongue piercings, according to the press release, and they accidentally inhaled or ingested those magnets. Rare earth magnets are powerful enough to attract one another through the tissues of the body and therein is where the hazard lies. If your child has been injured by one of these products, you may want to consider contacting a product liability lawyer to see if filing a lawsuit over the injuries would be an option for your family.
Filing a Lawsuit
Product liability claims can be filed over products that are found to be defective in manufacture, advertising or design. Because these products were advertised as being safe for children ages 13 and over but do not meet the standards for that labeling, you may be able to file a lawsuit if your child was injured.
Talking to a Houston product liability lawyer is the first step in determining whether or not this is an option for you. The Law Offices of Blaine Tucker will offer you a free consultation where we will listen to the details of your situation and determine whether or not it would be appropriate for you to press forward with a lawsuit. Contacting us as soon as possible is advisable.