Buckyballs: The Ball of Rights
According to Zucker, "I can win both, I will win both. It's not easy, and it will take a lot of time and money. Despite overzealous regulators targeting me in the first place for speaking out, I am now taking legal action to defend myself against the CPSC's egregious attempt at rewriting our cherished laws of limited liability."
The official CPSC response, from Scott Wolfson, "Too many children have suffered serious injuries from the ingestion of high powered magnets. Through enforcement, education and rulemaking, the CPSC is working to keep children safe and reduce their exposure to this hazard-a hazard that doctors have described as a gunshot wound to the gut with no sign of entry or exit. CPSC staff continues to stand behind the administrative lawsuit and our pursuit of a free remedy for consumers of Bucky Balls and Bucky Cubes."
Wolfson says that the commission now is acting "as in other cases, setting a standard, not a ban. The CPSC is setting 'performance standards' where super strong magnet sets need to be less powerful and individual magnets cannot be ingested."
According to Zucker, the promotional products industry should share his concern. He asserts that the CPSC approved Buckyballs in 2010, including the product, the warning label, and the "distribution restriction program" developed to prevent sales of Buckyballs to retailers focusing on children's products. "Even when you are told you are compliant, the CPSC can change its mind at any time. The biggest battle I'm fighting here is to retain the concept of limited personal liability for executives that are starting, or running, a company today."
Zucker is currently raising money for his legal defense with a "United We Ball" campaign, and has received publicity from several national news outlets with the cheekiness of the campaign for "Liberty Balls" and the "Ball of Rights." He did a lengthy interview for reason.tv, which is linked at the bottom of this post, about the unprecedented aspects of the suit, the safety of Buckyballs related to other consumer products and, that the CPSC's lawsuit amounts to saying that "warning labels work for some products, but not for others."
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.