The sign on the toilet brush says it best: "Do not use for personal hygiene. "
DETROIT — The sign on the toilet brush says it best: “Do not use for personal hygiene.”
That admonition was the winner of an anti-lawsuit group’s eighth annual contest for the wackiest consumer warning label of the year.
Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch says the goal is “to reveal how lawsuits, and concern about lawsuits, have created a need for common-sense warnings on products.”
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The $500 first prize went to Ed Gyetvai, of Oldcastle, Ontario, who submitted the toilet-brush label. The $250 second prize went to Matt Johnson, of Naperville, Ill., for a label on a children’s scooter: “This product moves when used.”
Third prize, worth $100, went to Ann Marie Taylor, of Camden, S.C., who submitted a warning from a digital thermometer: “Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally.”
Said group President Robert Dorigo Jones: “From the moment we raise our head in the morning off pillows that bear those famous Do Not Remove warnings, to when we drop back in bed at night, we are overwhelmed with warnings.”
This year’s contest coincides with a drive by President Bush and congressional Republicans to put caps and other limits on jury awards in liability cases.
In Illinois on Wednesday, Bush focused on nationwide ceilings on medical-malpractice awards for pain and suffering. Yesterday, he met with legislators of both parties to lobby for federal limits on class-action lawsuits, which many conservatives say hurt businesses. He heads to Michigan today to push Congress to set award limits in asbestos lawsuits.
The leader of a group that opposes Bush’s efforts said even dumb warnings can do good.
“There are many cases of warning labels saving lives,” said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy in New York. “It’s much better to be very cautious … than to be afraid of being made fun of by a tort-reform group.”
Associated Press reporter Scott Lindlaw contributed to this report.