To borrow a bit from P.T. Barnum, no one ever went broke overestimating the intelligence of the public. But apparently you can be sued for it.
The answer is yes. As in yes, Virginia, your job could be worse. Imagine slogging through four years of college, sweating your way through law school and then, by God’s grace, you pass the bar exam and land a job — issuing product disclaimers.
In New Zealand, a coroner has called on Coca-Cola to add a warning label after a woman there died from health complications connected to her consumption of the soda.
The coroner thinks the rest of us need to be warned that we shouldn’t chug 10 liters of pop every day, which is what Natasha Harris consumed for years before dying from a heart attack.
Not even losing her teeth to decay was enough to stop Harris from downing liter after liter.
Giving birth to children who lacked enamel on their teeth wasn’t incentive enough for her to reduce her intake.
Is such faulty behavior really the fault of Coca-Cola?
A TV commercial for Ford shows a vehicle flying through the air to illustrate — well, I’m not sure — but a disclaimer at the end warns: “Cars cannot fly.”
In case you were, you know, wondering.
What’s sad is that ridiculous disclaimers are needed because we’ve become such a litigious society. You don’t have to be a 1-900 psychic to know that lawyers are beating a path to New Zealand.
To borrow a bit from P.T. Barnum, no one ever went broke overestimating the intelligence of the public.
But apparently you can be sued for it.
Ladders are tagged with illustrations warning users not to stand on the very top, lest you get your first lesson in gravity.
Daytime TV is crammed with ads urging viewers to call a lawyer because “you deserve compensation.” Other commercials urge those same viewers to cash in ASAP on cash settlements received from — wait for it — lawsuits.
Terror of lawsuits has prompted fast-food restaurants to issue disclaimers about hot coffee being hot, and they now post the calories contained in their products — in case you weren’t sure that a Triple Bypass Burger from the Heart Attack Grill might, might, be hazardous to your health.
When it comes to disclaimers, tobacco companies have long been whipping boys, mostly because they conspired to hide research about their products’ dangers. Today, disclaimers on tobacco products practically say “this product probably will kill you.” But at what point do we take responsibility for ourselves and choices we make once we know the facts?
Attorneys charged with anticipating every possible dimwit disaster probably want to hit themselves in the head with hammers.
Except that the label on the hammer says ... .
Contact Charita Goshay at firstname.lastname@example.org.