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Tools be warned

-Winners of 7th Annual Wacky 'Warning Label' Contest

Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch


Fishing lure which warns, "Harmful if swallowed," catches one of the top awards

A five-inch fishing lure which sports three steel hooks and cautions users that it is, "Harmful if swallowed," has been identified as one of the nation's wackiest warning labels in an annual contest sponsored by a consumer watchdog group.

The Wacky Warning Label Contest, now in it's seventh year, is conducted by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, M-LAW, to reveal how lawsuits, and fear of lawsuits, have prompted many manufacturers to issue warnings against even obvious misuses of consumer products.

The winning labels were selected from a list of M-LAW's finalists by listeners of the Dick Purtan show on Detroit radio station, WOMC-FM 104.3. The fishing lure warning actually placed fourth.

GRAND PRIZE The $500 grand prize for the wackiest label was awarded to Robert Brocone of Euclid, Ohio for a warning he found on a bottle of drain cleaner which says: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product." Brocone also wins a copy of the book, "The Death of Common Sense," by Philip K. Howard, chairman of the legal reform group, Common Good.

And, for the first time, the winner of the top prize receives a special edition wacky warning label coffee mug produced by the Common Good coalition. A recent Newsweek magazine cover story reported on Common Good's campaign to focus national attention on the impact legal fear is having in our society.

OTHER WINNERS. The $250 second place award went to Alexander Tabarrok of Fairfax, Virginia for a label on a snow sled which says: "Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions." Third place and $100 goes to Bob Skowronek of Northville, Michigan who purchased a 12-inch-high storage rack for compact disks which warns: "Do not use as a ladder." Fourth place, as mentioned above, went to the fishing lure, sent in by Melissa Cerrito, Atlantic Mine, Michigan, and Fifth place goes to a smoke detector which warns: "Do not use the Silence Feature in emergency situations. It will not extinguish a fire," sent in by Bill Masterson, Ft. Myers, Florida

"Wacky warning labels are a sign of our lawsuit-plagued times," said Robert B. Dorigo Jones, M-LAW president. "It used to be that if someone spilled coffee in their lap, they simply called themselves clumsy. Today, too many people are calling themselves an attorney. This "sue first, ask questions later" mentality has not only produced wacky warning labels, it has increased the cost of products and services families use daily. That's the real problem."

M-LAW is a non-profit organization working to increase public awareness of how the explosion in litigation is hurting America. M-LAW is dedicated to restoring common sense and personal responsibility to the courts.


Other past finalists have included:

On a baby stroller:
"Warning: remove child before folding up stroller"

On a blanket from Taiwan:
Not to be used as protection from a tornado.

Warning on fireplace log:
Caution -- Risk of Fire.

A warning on a pair of shin guards manufactured for bicyclists:
Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover.

Warning on an electric router made for carpenters:
This product not intended for use as a dental drill.

On a bottle of shampoo for dogs:
Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish.

On a hair dryer:
Do not use in shower.

On Marks & Spencer bread pudding
Product will be hot after heating.

On a string of Chinese made Christmas lights:
For indoor or outdoor use only.

On Sainsbury's peanuts:
Warning: Contains nuts.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
Instructions - open packet, eat nuts.

On some frozen dinners:
Serving suggestion: defrost.

On a hotel provided shower cap:
Fits one head.

On Nytol Nighttime Sleep-Aid:
Warning: May cause drowsiness.

Warning on a cartridge for a laser printer:
Do not eat toner.

A wheel 13" a wheelbarrow warns:
Not for highway use.

Can of self-defense pepper spray warns:
May irritate eyes.

Warning on a Conair Pro Style 1600 hair dryer:
Do not use in shower. Never use while sleeping.

Silly Putty package warning:
Not for use as earplugs.

On a bag of Fritos:
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.

Baby stroller warning:
Remove child before folding.

Household iron warns:
Never iron clothes while they are being worn.

A fireplace lighter cautions:
Do not use near fire, flame or sparks.

A handheld massager warns consumers:
Don't use while sleeping or unconscious.

Warning on underarm deodorant:
Do not spray in eyes.

Cardboard car sun shield that keeps sun off the dashboards warns
Do not drive with sun shield in place

Warning on a sharpening stone:
Knives are sharp.

Bottle water label warns:
Twist top off with hands. Throw top away. Do not put top in mouth.

On a box or rat poison
Warning: Has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice.

On a Domino's Pizza box
Caution: Contents hot!

Toilet bowl cleaning brush warns:
Do not use orally.

An electric cattle prods warns:
For use on animals only

A can of air freshner warns:
Keep out of reach of children and teenagers

Cheap rubber ball toy warning:
Choking hazard: This toy is a small ball.

Caution on a package of dice:
Not for human consumption.

In the manual of a chainsaw:
Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand.

Stamped on the barrel of a .22 calibre rifle:
Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death.

Instructions for an electric thermometer:
Do not use orally after using rectally.

On the wrapper of a Fruit Roll-Up snack:
Remove plastic before eating.

A TV remote controller warns:
Not dishwasher safe.

As mentionned, the thing I find most disturbing is that someone sued for actually doing something to what the label warns against, and subsequently got them added onto the item.
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
The "remove baby from stroller" one is so good it's in there twice!

I like the airline peanuts one "Open Bag, Eat nuts"
Yes I'm very immature
more ????

On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
Do not iron clothes on body

Batman: The Animated Series Armor Set Halloween costume:
PARENT: Please exercise caution—mask and chest plate are not protective; cape does not enable wearer to fly.

Ray-O-Vac Renewal AA reusable batteries:
If swallowed or lodged in ear or nose see doctor.

Cayman Airlines safety booklet:
If you are seated in an exit aisle and are unable to read this, please ask a stewardess to reseat you

VCR box:
Instructional video on hooking up your VCR included.

On a bar of Dial soap:
Directions: Use like regular soap.

On some Swann frozen dinners:
Serving suggestion: Defrost.
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

jason klaps

TRIBE Member
Re: more ????

Originally posted by el presidente Highsteppa
On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
Do not iron clothes on body

I knew a guy who tried this once, burnt himself pretty good..... obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed.