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Washington Examiner
January 19, 2006

Goofy product warnings are just a symptom

It's hard to find a product these days that doesn't come with a warning or caution. The Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (mlaw.org) keeps tabs on these warnings and even bestows awards on the wilder ones. This year's grand prize went to a warning on an electric heat gun and paint remover that produces temperatures of 1,000 degrees: "Do not use this tool as a hair dryer."

Other M-LAW winners from this and previous years:

It is easy to laugh at such goofy warnings, but it's a mistake to think that they're dreamed up by goofy people. They're written by business people who can no longer predict what the law expects or requires of them. These warnings are another measure of how far plaintiff lawyers have gone in dreaming up frivolous pretexts for lawsuits.

No matter how irresponsible people might be in misusing a product, if they are injured in the process, they can just about always find a lawyer and a judge who'll recognize moonbeam theories of liability.

The lunacy is not in the warnings listed above but in the epidemic of abusive lawsuits that drives otherwise reasonable people to issue them.

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