“We will not settle for any sort of stop-sale of magnets that are perfectly safe when not misused… We vow to continue this [legal] battle until our very last drop of cash-flow blood”, promised in August 2014, forecasting 95% chance of a glorious honorable death of insolvency on the legal battlefield.
Last week a Colorado District Court Judge tossed a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall decision on due process grounds. For the first time in six years, we are no longer in active litigation. Yes, WE WON! Here are links for the curious:
We are so greatly indebted to the to the thousands that supported us financially and emotionally throughout this endeavor. It’s really quite astonishing that we’ve come out the other end of this whole thing alive.
Just week ago we were still on our knees awaiting a potential guillotine. But forthcoming, expect new projects, products, and outlooks. To consecrate, we’re re-awakening the monthly contests, giving away more free magnets than ever, and resuming all projects that were on doom pause. Stay tuned at newsletter.zenmagnets.com
6 Years in a Flash
Back in 2012, when we were the first company to get sued for a mandatory CPSC recall prior to record of injury, we had no idea what we were getting into. The original plan was to defend ourselves in court, because who needs a lawyer ughhhh.. ohh. Hahahha….
By the time Buckyballs and Magnicube both settled with the CPSC, we were two years less naive but no less outraged at – what seemed to us to be – a blatant attack on the fundamentals of Consent, Warnings and Democracy. We were literally the last ones standing, and “You’re going to lose”, was standard line from almost every lawyer and consultant we spoke to about a prolonged legal scuffle with the big Fed CPSC. “Yea, probably,” we thought.
Along the way we eulogized burnt magnets, uncovered CPSC injury data dishonesty, spent two dozen days in court over four years, all while a blizzard of legal motions flew around us.
The nationwide magnet ban meant we were without income for most of 2015. After downsizing from 12 employees in a big warehouse to one loyal part time in a spare bedroom, 2016 was when we had our first significant victories. The CPSC’s nationwide magnet ban was overturned months after the first appeal of the Zen Magnets recall was ruled in our favor.* Rather unexpectedly, we’ve had more success resisting the CPSC than any company in 33 years.
The Battle for Magnet Safety
“There is a fundamental problem with regulators. If a regulator agrees to change a rule and something bad happens, they can easily lose their career. Whereas if they change a rule and something good happens, they don’t even get a reward. So, it’s very asymmetric.” – Elon Musk
How this game works, is we have to keep winning at every stage on every front, or else the CPSC wins. Though breathing capacity returned when we defeated the Nationwide Ban in 2016, the CPSC still wanted to make a point of our destruction.
Though the Judge’s recent decision was in our favor, it wasn’t exactly a knock out of the park. In fact the decision seemed like it was designed to stir as little commotion as possible while giving us a solid victory. Instead of having to overrule the CPSC on the merits of the case, the judge threw out CPSC’s previous appeal on due process grounds.
The case has been remanded to the Commission for what is essentially a rehearing but absent Commissioner Robert Adler. Though the ball is in their court, the effect of labotomizing Commissioner Adler from the brain of the CPSC results in an insufficient majority for the CPSC to continue Adler’s magnum opus on this recall front.
As former Commissioner Nancy Nord puts it: “From a safety standpoint, the CPSC’s ineffectual regulatory and litigation strategy has resulted in opening the marketplace to companies who, unlike Zen, have no interest in promoting safe use of SREMs. Because the agency’s position on both the regulation and the recall of the Zen product have been overruled, the market is now wide open, with no requirements for safety precautions applicable to the product in place. This result is on the agency. If any injuries involving this product occur in the future, the agency must look internally for the cause. Their incoherent policies, in large part, bear the blame.”
We remain willing to work with the CPSC to develop the magnet safety standards for which we’ve already petitioned, and which will be more effective and reasonable than the all-ages, nationwide ban we succeeded in vacating in the Tenth Circuit. As we’ve already been doing, Zen Magnets looks forward to providing not just the highest quality magnet spheres on the market, but also the safest in terms of sales methods and warnings. Now that the war on magnets is over, hopefully we can all focus towards the war on magnet misuse.
Magnets must be respected, but need not be feared.
Thanks again everyone,
Founder, Zen Magnets