The Buckyballs Guy Is Suing the Feds Over Free Speech

Photograph by Emmanuel Lattes/Alamy

Craig Zucker in New York on Oct. 29
Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times via Redux
In summer 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission started a product recall proceeding for the small, spherical magnets sold as Buckyballs. The agency argued that they could pinch shut the intestinal walls of children who swallowed them, linking Buckyballs and other high-powered magnetic toys to 1,700 emergency room visits from 2009 to 2011. In February, the CPSC went further, invoking a little-used legal doctrine to try to force Craig Zucker, the former chief executive of the company that marketed Buckyballs, to pay an estimated $57 million in costs related to a recall.

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