In November 2007, Benjamin P., age two, swallowed some tiny magnets that had become separated from a Magnetix toy set. The powerful magnetic attraction of the small metal objects caused them to tear through Benjamin’s bowel, cecum, and appendix. Life-saving emergency surgical procedures were performed to remove the magnets and repair the multiple perforations they had caused.
Attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Thomas Martin, and Daniel J. Mann commenced a lawsuit on behalf of Benjamin’s parents against Mega Brands, a Canadian toy company that had acquired the Magnetix toy line in 2005. During the course of discovery documents were identified which confirmed that both Mega, as well as the predecessor company which had developed the Magnetix toy line, had knowledge that magnets were falling out of the product because of the product’s poor design and that children were being injured. Other materials obtained from Mega and from third parties demonstrated that months before Benjamin Palmer’s injury, Mega had received some 1,500 complaints from consumers, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission had already identified 27 instances of intestinal injuries to children as a result of ingestion of magnets from Magnetix toys.
Following mediation and ongoing discussions with an officer of the defendant corporation, the case was settled. The amount of the settlement was sealed by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas at the request of defendant Mega.