There have been some interesting developments relating to the high powered magnets that have been the focus of so much attention by the CPSC. Although BuckyBalls and others agreed to recall their magnet products in recent months, the manufacturer of a similar product, Zen Magnets, has vowed to fight the CPSC in court. In a recent press release, Zen Magnets stated:
Magnet spheres are not defective, they work exactly as they are supposed to. Strong to hold formation. Round to allow connections at non-fixed angles. Used en masse for endless possibilities. There is absolutely no replacement or substitute for magnet spheres, nothing has the same dynamic tactile abilities that magnet spheres do. . . .
Take this as official notice that Zen Magnets LLC is going All-in . . . We vow to continue this legal, awareness, and lobbying battle, until our very last drop of cash-flow blood. We will combat the CPSC’s magnet prohibition until triumph, or until a glorious death of insolvency on the legal battlefield. At the very least, we’ll have one more holiday season of availability.
The Zen Magnets trial is scheduled for December. At the conclusion of the trial, an administrative law judge will determine whether the magnets present a “substantial product hazard” under the Consumer Product Safety Act.
In other news, the new CPSC chairman, Elliot Kaye, indicated in a recent interview that new CPSC rules, including the proposed changes to the voluntary recall rule and information disclosure rule, must show that they would achieve important safety objectives. Many defense attorneys have criticized the proposed changes to the long-standing voluntary recall and information disclosure rules and claim the changes will make companies less willing to voluntarily cooperate with the CPSC. Kaye’s comments hopefully indicate a recognition that many of the controversial changes that have been proposed should be softened, or even abandoned, because they do not foster “important safety objectives.”