WARNING: Do Not Hold Wrong End of Chainsaw — May Cause Discomfort

The latest edition of the Heartland Institute’s "Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly" newsletter has some gems. For example:

The top prize winner in the “Wacky Warning Label” contest sponsored by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and the Parent Bloggers Network? The label on a chainsaw that warned: “Do not hold the wrong end of a chainsaw.”

One runner-up was the label on a rocking chair: “Do not eat The Rocker or anything included with The Rocker, including, but not limited to, nuts, bolts, tags, cardboard, packaging, plastic bags, plastic pieces, styrofoam, unpopped popcorn kernels, etc. Attempting to eat these things may result in injury, death, or at the very least, discomfort while passing these items through your digestive system from entry to exit.”

“The growing number of frivolous lawsuits has prompted manufacturers to cover all their bases where it comes to warning labels on products,” according to the Parent Bloggers Network. “These labels may be funny, but lawsuit abuse costs all of us money. Let’s bring common sense back.”

You should really read the entire rundown here. I especially like the Yale University student who is suing an airline for $1 million for allegedly stealing his souped-up Xbox (worth an estimated $1,000), citing "noneconomic distress." Noneconomic distress? Look, if I can’t sue somebody for that reason each time my morning alarm clock radio kicks on with a Jason Mraz song, then this guy can’t use it either.

Loony Lawsuits Unfortunately Keep Coming Back

A recent fact I read: there are more than 169,000 law offices in the United States. And, just like any profession, most of the lawyers operating out of those offices are doing the right thing. Put all the jokes aside — for now. Lawyers play a critical role in many aspects of everyday business and life.

But there are, just like any profession, some wishing to take shortcuts to get the job done or utilize their knowledge for their own personal gain. And when the legal system allows that abuse to occur, watch out.

That’s why there has to be an Institute for Legal Reform and an occasional publication from the Heartland Institute titled Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly. You hear about one of these "cases too bad to be true" and you might not give it a second thought. Check out these resources and you get a litany of those "bad" examples, enough to make you a little queasy.

The latest Heartland offering has its usual array of bizarre court cases — each carrying a price tag in time and resources no matter the outcome. This issue includes a contribution from the Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and their "top five looniest lawsuits" of 2008.

Check it out, shake your head and feel free to let your representatives in Washington know that change is long overdue.