Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CPSC settles for $1.1 million with Mega Brands for Magnetix toy hazards


CPSC announced a settlement today with Mega Brands for withholding information on the hazards associated with Magnetix building toys. The toys were first recalled in 2006 after the death of 22 month old Kenny Sweet in Washington State. Unbeknown to his family, Kenny had swallowed the tiny magnets that had fallen out of the defective toy and hidden in the carpet. As it turns out, by the time the CPSC was notified of Kenny's death, the company (Rose Art) had more than 1000 complaints of magnets falling out and at least one report of serious injury before Kenny's death. By the time of the recall, the firm had over 1,500 reports of product failure and by April 07, when the recall was expanded, almost 30 serious injuries, most involving surgery. Mega Brands announced the aquisition of Rose Art in June 2005, but in settling with CPSC, denies any prior knowledge of problems with Magnetix prior to Kenny's death. A recent Mega Brands company report showed 2008 sales of just under $450 million, down 15% from 2007. Consumers are urged to check their toys to make sure they don't have any of the recalled Magnetix toys or any other products recalled since 2006 because of magnet ingestion hazards. CPSC also has a guide for identifying the recalled Magnetix products.

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