After a protracted legal battle, the maker of Buckyballs and Buckycubes have agreed to fund a recall of the controversial desk magnets.
Many major retailers previously agreed to independently recall Buckyballs after the Consumer Products Safety Commission sued Maxfield & Oberton, the company that manufactures the magnets, in 2012. However, the now-dissolved Maxfield & Oberton and its former CEO Craig Zucker had previously refused to recall the products, despite multiple reports of serious injuries to children caused by swallowing the magnets.
What led to CPSC's successful recall of the magnets, and how can those who bought Buckyballs or Buckycubes go about getting a refund?
2012 CPSC Lawsuit Against Maxfield & Oberton
The CPSC first recalled Buckyballs in 2010 because of insufficient age warnings on the product's packaging and reports that, at the time, two children had swallowed the magnets.
Maxfield & Oberton took part in the 2010 recall. But in 2012 the CPSC filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that Buckyballs, which were still being sold by the company, continued to have insufficient warnings and design defects that could pose a risk of injury.
2014 CPSC Lawsuit Against Zucker
By 2012, reports of children suffering severe intestinal injuries by swallowing the magnets had begun to make headlines. Facing a costly recall, Zucker dissolved Maxfield & Oberton in Decemeber 2012.
In 2013, the CPSC took the unusual step of naming Zucker personally in a lawsuit seeking to cover the cost of recalling Buckyballs and similar magnet products. As part of his agreement with CPSC, Zucker has pledged $375,000 to pay for refunds of the recalled product.
How to Get a Refund
Consumers who wish to pursue a refund should go to the Buckyballs Recall Website. Consumers who submit a signed proof of claim form and ship the products back to the Recall Administrators will receive a refund of up to the price of purchase as well as reasonable shipping costs.
Receipts are not necessary, but the recall website notes that the recall is only available to consumers, not retailers of the recalled products.