N.J. files lawsuit against R.I. company for sale of yo-yo waterballs

Nick Rees Dec. 14, 2009, 3:16pm


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram has filed a lawsuit against a Rhode Island company that is alleged to have sold yo-yo waterballs, which are banned by state law, to New Jersey consumers.

Rhode Island Novelty, Inc., is alleged to have sold the yo-yo waterballs through both its website and catalogues to New Jersey consumers, including schools and a library, through September 2008. The state's Yo-Yo Waterballs Act took effect on April 1, 2008.

"New Jersey consumers had to provide their state location when buying yo-yo waterballs from this company," David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director, said. "There is no excuse for allowing banned yo-yo waterballs to be sold in New Jersey."

The inexpensive yo-yo waterball toys consist of a rubber liquid-filled ball attached to a rubber cord, which is looped around the finger and can be stretched approximately 3 feet when swung. The stretched cord, in some instances, has wrapped around children's throats, resulting in choking or strangulation.

The State alleged last week in a three-count complaint that RINCO violated New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act, Advertising Regulations and Yo-Yo-Waterballs Act.

Allegations against RINCO include advertising, selling and offering for sale yo-yo waterballs to New Jersey consumers through its website, mail catalogue and through its toll-free telephone number. The company is also alleged to have advertised the toys in its direct mail catalogue in a manner that lead consumers to believe that offering the toy for sale and selling it in New Jersey was legal.

A similar suit was filed by the state in June against an Indiana-based company for similar violations.

Anyone found selling or offering to sell yo-yo waterballs to New Jersey consumers faces an initial civil penalty of up to $10,000 and up to $20,000 for subsequent violations.

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