Loyal readers will remember my coverage of the plight of Buckyballs, the innovative magnetic toy company targeted for shutdown by overzealous, job-killing Nanny State federal bureaucrats at the CPSC. (See column here and Fox and Friends segment here. I brought my Buckyballs to AFP’s Defending the Dream summit in 2012. Video of speech here.)
Company founder Craig Zucker continues to fight for the firm’s survival in court. Now, the people behind Buckyballs are launching a new, awareness-raising/fund-raising campaign — with entrepreneurial flair, of course.
Introducing…Liberty Balls at UnitedWeBall.org!
The People Who Gave the World Buckyballs® Fight Back Against
Unprecedented, Retaliatory Lawsuit by Consumer Product Safety Commission
New campaign launched: “United We Ball: The Revolution Will Be Magnetized”
NEW YORK – Unwilling to roll over and accept an unprecedented lawsuit by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Craig Zucker, the founder of the company that created Buckyballs®, and his supporters have launched “United We Ball,” a campaign to fight the lawsuit.
The campaign is selling two new products as well as branded merchandise with 100% of the profits going toward the legal fees of defending CPSC v. Maxfield and Oberton Holdings, LLC. et al., the legal battle of one individual against the government to stand up for what’s right for American consumers, businesses, and individuals.
“The CPSC sued me personally as an officer of a small business because the company disagreed with the agency and addressed their double standard when it came to Buckyballs®,” said Mr. Zucker. “What matters more, though, is that the CPSC is trying to have a court ignore and rewrite the cherished American principle of ‘limited liability,’ which protects responsible, law-abiding company officers like myself from being unjustly sued.”
Should the CPSC succeed in forcing an individual to pay for a company’s product recall, government agencies, in the future, could go after any entrepreneur or officer of any company and hold him or her personally responsible for the company’s actions, even if no laws or regulations were violated.
“This is not the American way, and I hope the American people will help us stand up to this mishandling of governmental agency power,” Zucker says.
The ultimate goal of “United We Ball” is to prevent more overreaching bureaucratic lawsuits against job-creating entrepreneurs who speak out against selective justice and to fight to preserve principles of limited liability for responsible company officers. The campaign web site can be found at www.UnitedWeBall.org
After the success of the 2012 “Save Our Balls” campaign, Zucker has confidence his supporters will once again rally to defend consumers’ freedom of choice and preserve the ability of entrepreneurs to pursue free enterprise and improve the lives of Americans.
Buckyballs®, manufactured by Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, LLC., were the world’s hottest adult desktoys in 2011.
In July 2012, after selling millions of Buckyballs® and related products to adults while working closely with the CPSC to ensure the products met all safety standards, Maxfield & Oberton was sued by the CPSC to force a full product recall. The CPSC pressured several prominent retailers into removing Buckyballs® from their shelves without providing the company a chance to defend itself. Lacking distributors for its products, and unable to run the company and fight the government simultaneously, the company dissolved in December, 2012.
However, the CPSC didn’t stop there. As described on the “United We Ball” website:
The products have never been proven to be defective and remain legal to sell today. In fact, several companies currently market identical products. But the CSPC decided to go after only one guy: the former CEO of Maxfield & Oberton and outspoken face of “Save Our Balls”, Craig Zucker.
In February 2013, the CPSC took an unprecedented action, filing suit to hold Zucker personally liable for the costs of a product recall, which they estimate at $57 million (more than the company ever even did in sales!).
According to Mr. Zucker, “It’s outrageous that the CPSC went after the company and then me personally, when high-powered magnets are still legal for sale in the marketplace today.
What’s at Stake?
The “United We Ball” website sums up the ramifications of this case for American businesses and consumers.
If the CPSC succeeds in forcing an individual to pay for a company’s product recall, government agencies, in the future, could go after any entrepreneur or officer of any company and hold him or her personally responsible for the company’s actions, even if no laws or regulations were violated.
If the CPSC wins, it will get the green light for bans and recalls of a wide range of products that are clearly meant for adults only, limiting choices for responsible consumers (that’s you.) That’s because the argument against Buckyballs® is based on a theory that warnings are insufficient to prevent misuse of an adult product and no longer work.
The products being offered to consumers to raise money for legal costs and other aspects of the “United We Ball” Campaign are Liberty Balls (described as “What Lincoln would have played with), Ball of Rights (“A pair George Washington would be proud of”), t-shirts and the option to pledge to the campaign.
The campaign urges Americans to “Grab Your Balls and Join the Fight.”
I got mine! Get yours while they’re hot — and support an innovative American business standing up to Washington’s overreaching regulatory powers that be.