Claims of Asbestos Laden Toys Lead to Bankruptcy for Planet Toys

Planet Toys filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York after facing a class action lawsuit that would have had the company paying millions. The lawsuit, not filed by the time the company put in their bankruptcy petition, was based on the possibility of asbestos in the company’s “CSI” fingerprint kit.

Filing for Chapter bankruptcy will be the end of Planet Toys. It signals that the company’s assets will be liquidated to pay its creditors and the company has no intentions of reorganizing. After the allegations of asbestos contamination were made, the company recalled all of its “CSI” fingerprint kits and had them tested. Test results showed that there were no measurable amounts of asbestos in the kits, but the plaintiffs assert otherwise.

On one side of the lawsuit is the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, and at the other is Planet Toys and CBS Corp. The two stand on sides of the divide over the safety of the “CSI” fingerprinting kit sold under a product line of items based on the CBS show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

The group and consumers pursuing the litigation allege that the fingerprinting kit contained asbestos in its parts. Asbestos is a mineral that is most often found in building materials. Its use in new products has been outlawed in the United States due to its carcinogenic properties. Not only is inhalation of asbestos linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, but it also causes a scarring of the lungs known as asbestosis.

The deadline for plaintiffs to file in the Morris v. Planet Toys, Inc et al class action lawsuit was March 30, 2009. That suit was filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-00592. Planet Toy’s bankruptcy was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, with the case number 09-1122.