Earlier this week, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint against Star Networks USA, LLC, the seller of Star Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes. The Commission voted 2-1 to file the complaint, with Commissioner Nord voting against the f. As described in our previous post, the CPSC has already filed three other administrative complaints since July, an unprecedented use of its litigation authority. This is the third filed against an importer of high-powered magnet balls. The other two magnet ball-related lawsuits involve Buckeyballs and Zen Magnets. Although the products have warnings to keep the magnets away from children, CPSC believes they continue to present an ingestion hazard.
In July 2012, Star Networks and eleven other companies, at the request of the CPSC, agreed to withdraw their magnet ball products from the market. Star Networks, however, reversed its withdrawal in November, and the Commission filed this complaint after discussions with the company failed to result in a voluntary recall. The complaint alleges that the products have a defective design, warning, and instructions. The CPSC is seeking an order that the company stop selling the Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes, notify the public of the defects, and offer customers a full refund. The Commission claims that it has received over two dozen reports of ingestion of small magnets like those imported by Star Networks.
The consolidated case involving Buckeyballs and Zen Magnets continues. Maxfield & Oberton, the importer of Buckeyballs, announced this week that it would stop selling the product and is selling through product in anticipation of the “Buckypocalypse.” Any company that relies heavily on product warnings should continue to watch these cases very closely.