Posts tagged as:

wacky warnings

Great moments in warnings

by Walter Olson on December 5, 2014

From the United Kingdom:


It may already be too late

by Walter Olson on October 28, 2014

[John Farrier, "Alarming Signs from the Dresden Public Art Show," Neatorama, more]

Speaking of warnings, Ted Frank’s observation on this…. exotic Hallowe’en costume is, “The warning is critical.


by Walter Olson on September 4, 2014


Thanks to Australia’s Tortylicious Facebook stream for this warning sign. As commenter Alexander Cohen notes, the “Sign” sign is missing.

More: Lowering the Bar (“The similar sign at the top is just slightly less ridiculous, because gravity.”)


A warning sign

by Walter Olson on August 25, 2014

Making the rounds, from Reddit: “Please do not enter the dangerous area beyond this gate! You quite possibly will be hurt, then you will sue. … [This sign] will be ‘Exhibit 1′.”


“Get rid of children”

by Walter Olson on August 12, 2014

Bob Dorigo Jones has a winner in his 2014 Wacky Warning Labels Contest. [Let's Be Fair!, earlier] My own favorite of this year’s entrants, a warning that peel-and-stick sports decals do not themselves provide protection against injury, placed third.

Bob Dorigo Jones’s 2014 Wacky Warning Labels Contest has its five finalists.

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Last fall the editors of the Vermont Law Review were kind enough to invite me to participate in a discussion on food and product labeling, part of a day-long conference “The Disclosure Debates” with panels on environmental, financial, and campaign disclosure. Other panelists included Christine DeLorme of the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Advertising Practices; Brian Dunkiel, Dunkiel Saunders; George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety; and David Zuckerman, Vermont State Senator and Farmer, Full Moon Farm.

Aside from my own segment above, you can find links to the other segments here. Plus: Environmental Health (VLS) summary of above panel.

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On a computer case

by Walter Olson on April 23, 2014


An amusing guarantee/waiver, via @fourgreenis on Twitter.


Hat tip Richard Morrison: a container of monosodium glutamate (MSG) with the advisory (promise? warning?) “No MSG.” Original here.


August 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 16, 2013

  • As football helmet makers come under litigation pressure, one company’s label simply advises not playing football [New York Times, ABA Journal]
  • D.C. Circuit: Obama administration has broken law by stalling action on Nevada nuclear site [AP/ABC News, In re Aiken County (PDF)]
  • Unexpected venue? Writer in National Review suggests legalizing prostitution [Charles Cooke]
  • Eight reasons New York City rent is so ridiculously high [Josh Barro]
  • “How much is a life worth?” [Kenneth Feinberg profile in National Journal]
  • Ed Markey vs. amusement parks [Elie Mystal, Above the Law]
  • How easy is it to pull real estate deed fraud? You (and the owners of the Empire State Building) might be surprised [Now I Know]

Coming up on TV tonight, including the winner announcement for the year’s Wacky Warning Label contest with Bob Dorigo Jones.


This year’s Wacky Warning Labels contest has reached the finalist stage. Others that made the cut: “Wash hands after using” on a common extension cord, a Prop 65 (California) warning on a box of matches advising that they may produce combustion by-products, and a warning on a pedometer that the maker will not be liable for any injuries to runners using the device. [Bob Dorigo Jones]

More: David Henderson on “warning pollution.”


I’ve had fun before at the expense of warnings like “Contains Nuts” on a container of nuts. It’s not a phenomenon limited to the United States. From the BBC via Perry de Havilland, Samizdata:

A supermarket chain has withdrawn bags of nuts – after failing to declare they may contain peanuts.

The Food Standards Agency issued an allergy alert saying the presence of peanuts was not declared on Booths’ own brand packets of monkey nuts.

“Monkey nuts” is the local name for peanuts sold in the shell, which to most of us are even more immediately identifiable as peanuts than those sold without. The Express rounds up a couple of reactions from Britons on the street:

Pensioner Peter Davy, 73, of Preston, fumed: “It says monkey nuts on the packet. What do they think is in it? Cheese?” Jenny Harpin, 56, said: “If I bought a bag of monkey nuts I wouldn’t be too surprised to find they contained nuts.”

The government agency inevitably took a different view: “Without the correct information on the packaging, people with an allergy to peanuts who might not know or make the connection between peanuts and monkey nuts, for example children, might eat the product and experience an adverse reaction.” More: Lowering the Bar.


Doormat warning

by Walter Olson on December 26, 2012

Courtesy Michael Schearer:

(& welcome Above the Law, Free-Range Kids readers)


The Wacky Warning Label contest has chosen its annual finalists. Among them: “Caution: griddle surface may be hot during and after cooking.”

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September 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 7, 2011

  • Truth through intimidation? U.K.: “Chronic fatigue syndrome researchers face death threats from militants” [Guardian] Nanotechnologists are target of Unabomber copycat [Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Blogger (and frequent Overlawyered commenter) Amy Alkon criticizes intrusive TSA agent by name, agent threatens $500K libel suit [Mike Masnick/TechDirt, Mark Bennett]
  • NYT fans “pill mill” hysteria, heedless of the costs [Sullum]
  • Patent litigant “pursued baseless infringement allegations in bad faith and for an improper purpose.” More loser-pays, please [NLJ, PoL]
  • Great moments in link solicitation [Scott Greenfield] Quality bar at feminist lawprof blog may not be set terribly high [Popehat]
  • “Wow, this photo got over 475 views from being reposted on Overlawyered” [Erik Magraken]
  • “Popular Comic Strip Has Fun With Wacky Warnings” [Bob Dorigo Jones]


July 28 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 28, 2011

  • Wild hypotheticals were grist for complaint: “Widener law professor cleared of harassment charges” [NLJ, earlier here, here, here]
  • Ninth Circuit: Facebook didn’t breach user’s right to accommodation of mental disability [Volokh]
  • House Judiciary hearing on litigation and economic prosperity [Wajert]
  • “University of Michigan to stop worrying about lawsuits, start releasing orphan works” [Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing]
  • PBS airs “The Story Behind Wacky Warning Labels” [Bob Dorigo Jones]
  • Fifth Circuit “candy cane” religion-in-schools case controversial among conservatives [David Upham, NR Bench Memos]
  • Great moments in public records law [Cleveland Plain Dealer, earlier related]