Over the last couple of years there have been a number of severe injuries to young children that were caused by toys called Buckyballs. Buckyballs are small but very strong magnetic balls, packaged in groups of 10 to 216 balls, which are intended to be desk toys for adults but are sold in toys stores and have often fallen into the hands of young children. On July 30, 2012 it was reported by the ABA Journal that the Consumer Product Safety Commission had decided to file a federal lawsuit against the manufacturer of these toys to stop their sale which is an unusual move on the part of the CPSC.
The CPSC had asked the manufacturer to recall these magnetic toys because they believe they "pose a grave danger to children." Other groups and many parents have also been calling for the toy to be removed from the marketplace but despite all these efforts Maxfield & Oberton, the manufacturer, has refused to recall them.
What Makes These small Magnetic Toys Dangerous?
It is natural for small children to put things in their mouths and when they do these items are often swallowed. Small items can usually pass through their system and out the other end. So why is there a problem with these very tiny magnets? The danger of swallowing these small magnets is that they stick together because of their powerful magnetic attraction to each other and sections of tissue/intestine get pinched between them. This can cause injury to the stomach and intestines by causing ulceration and/or perforation to the tissues. In some cases it can cause intestinal blockage or twisting of the intestines. Internal injury caused by these small magnetic toys has been responsible for serious injury to a number of small children over the past few years. Some of these children became severely ill with pain and infections and required hospitalization and surgery to remove the magnets, repair the internal injuries, and treat the infections which in some cases were life threatening.
Pediatric Society 2012 Survey On Magnet Ingestions
The North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatolory & Nutrition estimates that half of the magnet ingestions by children requires surgery and about a third involve bowl perforations. Among a survey of just their members in spring 2012 which covered cases over the last 2 years, it was reported there were 60 magnet ingestions which caused 23 bowel perforations and required 26 surgeries.
A 22 month old toddler from Mississippi had an encounter with Buckyballs that resulted in a life changing injury. After extensive medical treatment and 3 surgeries he has been left with only 4-6 inches of healthy small intestine after a large area of dead bowl had to be removed. He must now receive his nutrition intravenously and will likely need a future intestinal transplant in order to eat normally again. Cases of serious injury caused by Buckyballs and other dangerous products happen every year in the United States. When serious injury occurs, victims of dangerous products can be sent scrambling for help from personal injury attorneys to get help in obtaining compensation for all of the medical bills and pain & suffering.
According to The Washington Post over 2 million sets of Buckyballs were sold in the U.S. just between 2009 and 2011 and the manufacturer says Buckyballs are a $50 million dollar business. When Buckyballs first made their debut in the U.S. they were marketed to children. In 2010 the company recalled 175,000 Buckyball sets and relabeled their toys for adult use with warnings notifying users that they are not intended for use by children. Despite the relabeling of the product, the CPSC continued to receive reports that children were being seriously injured by these Buckyballs. Part of the problem appears to be that once these magnetic toys are removed from their packaging and people other than the original purchaser begin to use them, they have no knowledge of the warnings on that came on the packaging.
Have You Or A Family Member Been Seriously Injured By A Defective Or Poorly Designed Consumer Product?
Atlanta Personal injury attorneys at The Teiger Law Center have helped many individuals and their families recover compensation in cases where defective or poorly designed consumer products were responsible for causing serious injury. Sometimes these product liability cases can be complex when more than one party can be held liable such as a manufacturer and the distributor of a product. A childcare giver or childcare facility might also be liable if they knew or should have known they were using a dangerous product that caused injury to a child in their care.
Contact Our Caring & Compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys At The Teiger Law Center
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury from a defective or poorly designed consumer product the Alpharetta product liability attorneys at The Teiger Law Center are here to help you. Contact us today and we can review the details of your case and advise you of your rights.