On December 17, 2012, the CPSC filed its third lawsuit of 2012, this time against another rare-earth magnet distributor, Star Networks USA. Aside from the fact that this now marks an alarming new trend of the CPSC suing companies when it doesn’t get its way, this one is truly disturbing as this company’s products had ZERO incidents. They are being sued because other companies’ products are similar to theirs.
The CPSC’s complaint would be comical if it weren’t for the fact that there’s a company at the other end of it that is now forced to defend itself over incidents involving other companies’ products. All of the incidents cited in the CPSC’s complaint involved products it describes as “almost identical in form, substance, and content” to Star Networks’ products. Read that again – the allegations involve products that aren’t even Star Networks’ products, just ones that are “almost identical.”
The complaint is also nothing more than a regurgitation of incidents that are all very clearly consumer misuse of the product. One in particular involved a 10-year old that ingested magnets that her father had purchased for her. Another was a 3 year old that ingested magnets “she found on a refrogerator in her home.” What makes this so ridiculous is that two full pages of the complaint are spent reiterating the warnings that Star Networks plastered all over their products and website – warnings which more than clearly indicated they were for ages 14+ and should not be given to children. Yet these parents ignored the warnings, gave them to their kids (either directly or by failing to keep them away from their kids) and now Star Networks is being sued. And their products weren’t even involved!
How far is this going to go? A company is being sued over products that aren’t even theirs and for incidents that were clearly instances of bad parenting and product misuse.