Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wacky Warning Labels Prove The Lack Of Common Sense In Our Insane World!

Remember when your Mother told you not to put your hand on the hot stove burner or you're going to get burned? If you're like me, you probably did it anyway! But I didn't sue my Mom! The assinine world of lawsuit abuse affects virtually everyone, no matter how selfless their work or how important their mission. Victims include the Girl Scouts and the Little League. The Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (or M-LAW) serves as a public watchdog over our court system.M-LAW's Wacky Warning Label Contest, now in its eleventh year, is conducted by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, M-LAW, to reveal how lawsuits, and fear of lawsuits, have driven the proliferation of common-sense warnings on U.S. products. And to prove our lack of common sense, here are this years winners!

A label on a small tractor that warns, "Danger: Avoid Death," has been chosen as the nation's most obvious warning label in M-LAW's annual Wacky Warning Label Contest. Kevin Soave of Farmington Hills, Michigan won the $500 grand prize for submitting the label to M-LAW. Soave also wins a copy of the best selling book, "Remove Child Before Folding, The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever," written by M-LAW president Bob Dorigo Jones.

Don't follow this advice and you might just get a little hot under the collar. The second place award will be split by Carrianne, Jacob and Robby Turin of Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a label they found on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that warns: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."

Baby Strollers have seats for a reason... The $100 third place prize goes to Richard Goodnow of Lancaster, Massachusetts for a label on a baby-stroller featuring a small storage pouch that warns, "Do not put child in bag."

If you are opening bills, you might want to put blinders on, but one manufacturer of letter openers recommends this: Honorable mention goes to Cyndi LaMonde of Traverse City, Michigan for a warning label on a letter opener that says: Caution: Safety goggles recommended."

How many of us have thought of this trick to get out of paying a bill? Another honorable mention goes to Ann Marie Young of Fillmore, New York for a warning she found on Vanishing Fabric Marker which cautions users: "The Vanishing Fabric Marker should not be used as a writing instrument for signing checks or any legal documents."

One of last years winners, which I found pretty funny was this label from a clothes dryer that had to warn you about whether or not the door was open or closed! If you can't figure that one out, you may want to get a really big box, put it on some street over a warm sewer grate and live there!

Behind these silly labels is a serious public policy concern - America's out-of-whack system of civil justice. It's gotten out of hand how many warning labels must be put on stuff. Predatory idiot lawyers know they can file ridiculous lawsuits against innocent product makers and blackmail them into cash settlements - even in cases in which a user has ignored common sense. The real issue is not the obvious warning labels, but the billions of dollars in litigation costs passed on to consumers. A kind of a "lawsuit tax" we all pay. I'm sure Levi's will soon have to put a warning label on a pair of jeans saying "Warning: fast upward movement of the zipper could cause your tallywacker to get pinched causing serious injury or permanent disability." Now there's a warning label I just might heed!