On November 12, 2013, Craig Zucker, co-founder of Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, LLC (“M&O”), filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland against the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. See Zucker v. Consumer Prod. Safety Comm’n, et al., No. 8:13-cv-03355-DKC. Zucker seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to avoid being held personally liable in the Commission’s ongoing administrative action seeking a mandatory recall of high-powered magnet products, including Buckyballs® and Buckycubes™, which were sold by M&O.
M&O was dissolved following the CPSC’s filing of the administrative complaint against the company. On May 3, 2013, the presiding Administrative Law Judge granted the Commission’s motion to amend its complaint, naming Zucker personally as a respondent. On June 19, 2013, the ALJ denied Zucker’s motion to immediately appeal the ruling. If the CPSC prevails, Zucker, in his individual capacity, would be required to pay for all of the costs associated with the recall, which have been estimated to be as much as $57 million. As the Zucker complaint notes, this is the first time the Commission has taken action against “an officer or former officer of a company to personally conduct a recall.” (Compl. at ¶ 62.)
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