October 15, 2014 — Courthouse News reports that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a 3 year-old girl who nearly died from intestinal perforations after she swallowed 37 magnet toys called “Buckyballs.”
The lawsuit was filed on October 8 in Clark County, Washington Superior Court. According to the lawsuit, the toys posed a “substantial product hazard” to the child because they looked like “shiny candy.”
The small, spherical magnets are extremely dangerous when swallowed because they can stick together inside the body. If a part of the intestines is trapped between the magnets, it can cause a blockage or punch a hole in the stomach and/or intestines.
The child’s parents took her to a pediatrician after she started vomiting. After doctors found the magnets in her intestines, she was hospitalized and needed emergency surgery to remove every single magnet.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Aaron and Kelli Bushnell, accuse the CEO of Buckyballs, Craig Zucker, of dissolving the company to avoid responsibility and payments to families of children who were injured after ingesting the magnets.
In the last few years, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the manufacturer of Buckyballs have waged a contentious war over the legality of the toys. Zucker initially refused to recall Buckyballs, defending them as “desk toys” intended for adults and pointing out a prominent warning label.
After 1,700 children were injured, the CPSC sued in 2012 to stop sales of the magnets. The products were finally taken off the market after the CPSC forced Zucker to pay for the cost of recalling every Buckyball.
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