CPSC Recalls 25,000 Retail Magnets
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last week announced a recall of more than 25,000 miniature office and refrigerator magnets, sold at retail and distributed by Design Ideas and Neatlife. The magnets were sold at Nordstrom's Rack stores and several other outlets nationwide, from March 2007 through September 2013. Three different designs—a duck, a blowfish and a splatter shape—are included in the recall.
While no injuries have been reported, the CPSC warned that the magnetic backing affixed to the underside of each item can easily detach. If swallowed, the magnets could pose a significant injury risk, especially to children, causing "intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death," according to the CPSC's recall notice.
It's been rough going for magnet sellers of late. In July 2012, the CPSC filed a federal lawsuit against Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC, parent company of the Buckyballs magnetic toy line, after the company failed to comply with a recall. The legal battle has intensified in recent months, with the CPSC filing a direct lawsuit against Buckyballs founder Craig Zucker that could find Zucker personally liable for $57 million in refunds.
The CPSC also issued recalls and sales discontinuation orders for 12 other magnet companies, with 11 shutting down as a result. Only one company, Zen Magnets, refused to comply with the recall order, prompting the CPSC to file a federal lawsuit against it in August 2012.