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Why Such Crazy Warning Labels?

(gspm@Flickr)

We see them all the time – those warning labels on products that seem only an idiot wouldn’t know.  With some of them you can’t help but laugh.

First some examples.

  • A label on a baby stroller warns: “Remove child before folding.”
  • A four-inch-long fishing lure with a three-pronged hook on the end warns: “Harmful if swallowed.
  • A popular scooter for children warns: “This product moves when used.”
  • A toilet brush warns: “Do not use for personal hygiene.”
  • A warning on an electric carpenter’s drill cautions: “This product not intended for use as a dental drill.”
  • A warning on a Heat Gun says Do Not Use This Heat Gun as a Hair Dryer.
  • On a package of Almonds (Allergy Warning: Contains Almonds).
  • On Nytol sleep aid (causes drowsiness).
  • And of course that famous one about the cup of coffee you just bought is hot.

And there’s a very good reason for it. It’s because of all the lawsuits that cost manufacturers millions of dollars in compensation cases. It’s just a way for companies to protect themselves from litigation.

Did you know? Little League of America spends more on liability insurance every year than on bats, balls and gloves.

Girl Scouts in the Detroit area must sell 32,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies each year just to pay for liability insurance to protect itself from lawsuits.

There are 70,000 product liability lawsuits filed each year in the United States. Compare that with only 200 in the United Kingdom.

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