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things that just are

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Stupid Warnings, or Stupid People?
Amid an increasingly partisan battle about whether U.S. society has grown too litigious, one group of tort-reform crusaders claims to have evidence that businesses will go to embarrassing lengths to avoid lawsuits.

The group, Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, announced the winners of its eighth-annual "Wacky Warning Label Contest," which it uses to highlight what it claims are examples of how plaintiffs' lawyers are hurting businesses. The $500 first-prize winner was a label on a toilet brush saying, "Do not use for personal hygiene." Second prize went to a label on a children's scooter saying, "This product moves when used." Placing third was a label on a digital thermometer saying, "Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally."

One of the group's opponents, in an interview with the Associated Press. said yuck it up, but some people need warning labels that are just that dumb. "There are many cases of warning labels saving lives," Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy in New York, told the AP. "It's much better to be very cautious ... than to be afraid of being made fun of by a tort reform group."

From the WSJ Evening Wrap


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