According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Battat knowingly failed to report a hazard associated with its Magnabild Magnetic Building Sets, as required by federal law. The Magnabild, a magnetic building set, was labeled as a children’s toy for ages three and up. Small magnets inside the building pieces could fall out, and if found by young children, could be swallowed. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can adhere to one another, potentially causing intestinal perforations or blockages, which can be fatal.
Beginning in 2005 Battat Inc. began receiving reports from the CPSC that there were problems reported with the product. In 2007 the company also received 16 reports of magnets falling out and 2 reports of children being harmed. Throughout the years the company also received complaints about several deaths, serious injuries, and more than 24 reports of accidents and product defects.
Finally, Battat and CPSC announced a voluntary recall of 125,000 Magnabilds in January 2008. The recall was expanded to include 7,000 more Magnabilds by March 2008. Magnabilds were sold nationwide from August 2004 to February 2008 for between $20 and $40.
Consumers should be aware that toys and other children’s products on retail shelves are not necessarily safe. Although there are testing and design standards in place, these are often inadequate or not strictly adhered to by manufacturers. In addition, as in with Battat in this example, companies do not always follow reporting requirements once they know or should know of a product defect. Therefore, families and caregivers must always be aware of what safety issues to look for, such as small parts that can lead to choking, or small magnets that can cause damage once ingested. The bottom line – do not assume that toys are safe.
At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our product liability and personal injury attorneys pursue justice on behalf of victims of hazardous products and throughout the United States. Our firm has a national reputation for successfully representing consumers and their families who have been victimized by defective products, resulting in severe and catastrophic injuries.