Duty to warn that wearing football gear might make you really hot

“The family of former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer won an important legal victory Monday against the manufacturer of the helmets and shoulder pads he wore when he died nearly eight years ago from complications of heatstroke. A federal judge in Ohio concluded that manufacturer Riddell Inc. had a duty to warn Stringer that its helmets and shoulder pads could contribute to heat stroke when used in hot conditions.” [Kevin Seifert, ESPN]


  • *headdesk*

    I wish companies would start getting sarcastic with their warnings and disclaimers when lawsuits like this happen.


    “Since a court has ruled that we are responsible for Mr Stringer’s incredible stupidity and lack of common sense and therefore failed to realize that wearing many layers of protective equipment would in fact make him hotter on a very hot day, we give you the following warning…”

    I wonder if that would start working?

  • Take heed manufacturers of heavy coats. After all, if someone with years of playing football under the supervision of coaches can’t be expected to understand that wearing heavy protective gear could contribute to heat stroke, how could your basic suburban family be expected to be aware that wearing a heavy coat in 100+ degrees could do it?

  • I’m wondering where they’ll put the warning on swimsuits that wearing them in snowstorms could lead to hypothermia.

  • i keep thinking of what they say about frogs and hot water.

    if you put a frog in boiling water, it will struggle and try to get out.

    but if you put it in cool water and then put the pot on the stove and slowly heat it, the frog will just sit there and not realize you are killing it.

    apparently trial lawyers want to say we are as stupid as frogs.

  • Oh. My. God. That’s…

    Step 1: Find that lawyer.
    Step 2: Figure out who I need to sue because its “just too hot out today.”
    Step 3: Sue that sucker for all he’s worth.
    Step 4: Retire.

    Oh wait… @Kat – you’ve got something there. We can sue bathing suit companies from failure to keep us dry while in pools and pool companies for getting us too wet!

  • tcaptain,
    I like your proposed warning.
    Here’s an actual warning on a travel guide I have about China. “The external boundaries of China as shown in this book are neither correct nor authentic”. There are plenty of maps in the book.

  • For the manufacturer of a football helmet:

    “Warning: wearing this helmet may make you very hot. Take all precautions to prevent overheating, including drinking sufficient water and taking sufficient breaks. Then again, if you can’t figure this out for yourself, this helmet probably won’t do you any good because you’ve probably taken too many hits to the head as it is.”

  • I was wondering why the manufacturor has a “duty to inform.”

    Every helmet in the US has what is called an “ANSI” sticker on it. It actually a warning sticker from a testing lab that lists all the things that must be done to insure the safe wearing of the helmet. A sticker can be seen here to the right of the “NY” on the back of the helmet.


    Before every HS, college, and pro game, the helmets are inspected to make sure these stickers are on the helmets. If not, the helmet is removed.

    So why wouldn’t the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) be the one that was accused of “failing to warn?” They are the ones that certify the way the helmets be worn and say that the helmets are safe if worn in that manner.

    Then I realized that Ridell has MUCH deeper pockets than ANSI.

  • What about football players who can not read?

  • You could take a digital temperature sensor and a Hallmark card sound chip and create a warning device instructing the user to remove the helmet.

  • That raises another problem. The warning device would encourage the player to remove the helmet, thereby leaving his head exposed to all sorts of dangers. Presumably, the warning would have to both warn him about the dangers of heat stroke, and warn him about the dangers of going about without a helmet.

  • You’re right. Better to ban all activities that might require a helmet. You just can’t be too safe.

  • The external boundaries of China as shown in this book are neither correct nor authentic.

    I see a lawsuit by Laura Ling and Euna Lee when they get out of North Korea.