For 15 years, the Center for America and its senior fellow Bob Dorigo Jones have sponsored the Wacky Warning Labels contest to spark a national conversation about how much money Americans pay for the frivolous lawsuits that make such product labels necessary.
This year there were 430 contest submissions. Here are the five funny finalists:
This 7-inch decorative globe was sent in by Kelly Watson of Winona, Texas, and scored the grand prize of $1,000.
Dorigo Jones told ABC News today that his contests had been used everywhere, from the floor of Congress to national news articles, to illustrate how out of wack the U.S. legal system had gotten.
“Judges aren’t exercising their discretion to throw out lawsuits that shouldn’t be in the courts,” Dorigo Jones said. “People are ignoring personal responsibility [and] trying to use the courts as a sort of lottery to strike it rich when they’ve ignored common sense.”
The $500 second prize went to this electric razor, which was sent in by Dave Woehrer of Milwaukee.
Noelle McDonald of San Jose, Calif., won the $250 third prize for her contest offer: this kids’ neck pillow.
This electric skillet made it to the Top 5 and was sent in Jason Ellis of Milford, Mich.
In previous years, winners have included an outdoor hot tub cover’s label that reads “Warning: Avoid drowning. Remove safety cover from spa when in use”; a children’s scooter that warned “This product moves when used”; and a washing-machine warning “Do not put any person in this washer” — though a recent news report indicates that last one might still be necessary to post.
This laptop steering wheel desk also ranked in the Top 5 and was sent in by Anne Readett of Okemos, Mich.