Ridiculous Warning Labels

flammable warningWe’ve been reviewing torts for three days in my BarBri bar review class with Professor Robert Schechter from George Washington. Professor Schechter is greatly entertaining, and in today’s lecture he covered product’s liability and the warning labels that can help to absolve a defendant of strict liability in defective design cases. I did a quick search to find some the websites that Professor Schechter mentioned were devoted to funny product labels.
I found a lot of sites where people have made up funny warning labels. What’s the fun in that? “Wouldn’t it be funny if…?” No. What makes obvious warning labels funny is that they are (1) real, and (2) obvious. Those are the elements of funny warning labels. (Okay – I’ve been writing down a lot of two-pong tests lately.) I did find some sites that have actual references to real labels. M-Law seems to have the best collection because they host a contest for finding these things. Professor Andrew McClurg wants you to buy his book to read his favorite labels, but he has written a hypothetical joke label for your liability-free enjoyment.
I’ll never forget a label I saw in England on a jar of peanuts. For some reason, in England, food products have a “use within X days” label which is often an unreasonably short period of time. On the back of this huge peanut jar I was informed that, once opened, I should consume all of the peanuts within ten days. The company was apparently very fearful of liability, upon reading a little further down I discovered another warning: “Caution: this product may contain traces of peanuts.” I should hope so.