Product Liablity

Company co-founder is personally liable for Buckyballs recall refunds


Image released by the CPSC.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday announced a formal recall of Buckyballs—and the refunds will be paid by a co-founder and former head of the now-defunct company that developed the desk toy. The recall effort began in 2012.

According to the New York Times, the BB-sized magnetic toys that stack present ingestion hazards for children. Consumers have six months to apply for a refund.

Holding Craig Zucker, who formerly headed Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, personally liable for the refunds is unusual, the article notes. The commission named him as a respondent after the company went out of business. The parties in May reached an agreement that Zucker will be required to pay a maximum of $375,000.

“After nearly two years of fighting, it’s good to finally have this case behind me,” Mr. Zucker said in a statement after the settlement was announced.

The recall also applies to Buckycubes, according to a statement the commission released.

The commission estimates that between 2009 and 2011, approximately 1,700 children went to the emergency room because of high-powered magnets, including Buckyballs. According to an earlier New York Times article, a set of 216 Buckyballs retailed for $35.

Prior coverage: “Buckyballs creator to fund trust for recall of the magnetic toys”

ABA Journal: “Should this toy be saved?” “Dangerous desk toy Buckyballs voluntarily recalled by retailers” “In Unusual Move, Consumer Agency Sues to Bar Sales of Buckyballs”

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