A heat gun and paint remover that produces temperatures of 1,000 degrees and warns users, “Do not use this tool as a hair dryer,” has been identified as the nation’s wackiest warning label in an annual contest sponsored by a lawsuit watchdog group.
The Wacky Warning Label Contest, now in its ninth year, is conducted by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, M-LAW, as part of its campaign to reveal how lawsuits, and concern about lawsuits, have resulted in warnings on 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.
The second place award went for a label on a kitchen knife that warns: “Never try to catch a falling knife.”
Third place was won by the following warning on a cocktail napkin with a map of the waterways around Hilton Head, South Carolina printed on it: “Not to be used for navigation.”
An honorable mention award went to a warning on a bottle of dried bobcat urine used to keep pests away from garden plants: “Not for human consumption.”
“Warning labels are a sign of our lawsuit-plagued times,” said Robert B. Dorigo Jones, M-LAW president. “An unpredictable legal system — in which many judges allow anyone to file a lawsuit on almost any theory — has created a need for product makers to plaster wacky warnings on everything. When judges see it as their job to dismiss cases that are rooted in frivolous theories, we’ll see fewer wacky labels and more fairness in the courts.”