DETROIT - Words to live by, from a warning label on a small tractor: "Danger: Avoid Death." That warning was selected Wednesday as the winner of the 11th annual "Wacky Warning Label Contest," sponsored by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch. The contest is part of an effort to show the effects of lawsuits on warning labels.
Kevin Soave of Farmington Hills, a Detroit suburb, won the $500 grand prize for submitting the tractor's "Danger: Avoid Death" label.
The $250 second place was given to Carrianne, Jacob and Robby Turin of Greensburg, Pa., for a label they found on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that warns: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."
Richard Goodnow of Lancaster, Mass., earned the $100 third-place prize for a label on a baby stroller featuring a small storage pouch that warns: "Do not put child in bag."
Contest organizer Bob Dorigo Jones says the silly labels reflect how broken America's civil justice system is.
"Predatory lawyers know they can file ridiculous lawsuits against innocent product makers and blackmail them into a cash settlement — even in cases in which a user has ignored common sense," Dorigo Jones said in a statement Wednesday.
Honorable mention went to Cyndi LaMonde of Traverse City for a label on a letter opener that says: "Caution: Safety goggles recommended."
Ann Marie Young of Fillmore, N.Y., took the second honorable mention for a warning she found which cautions users: "The Vanishing Fabric Marker should not be used as a writing instrument for signing checks or any legal documents."
The group selected a list of finalists and listeners of WOMC-FM's Dick Purtan show chose the winners.