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iPod lawsuit claims hearing damage

updated 08:40 pm EST, Wed February 1, 2006

Hearing damage lawsuit

A new lawsuit against Apple claims that the company's popular iPod player causes hearing loss, that the company does not adequately warn users of the risks, and that the design of its white earbud phones excerbate inherent risks. The Mercury News reports that an iPod owner has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the device causes hearing loss and that the iconic music player is "inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss." The complaint, which seeks class action status, was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. Ironically, at least one report has claimed that Apple's engineers increased the sound output because Apple CEO Steve Jobs is partially deaf. The lawsuit seeks compensation for plaintiffs' hearing loss and upgrades that will make the iPods safer, citing the company's early compliance efforts for sound volume in France.

The complaint notes that Apple was forced pull the iPod from shelves in France and upgrade the software to limit the sound output to 100 decibels, but has not followed suit in the United States, according to the complaint obtained by the Mercury News. It also says that Apple's signature earbuds contribute to noise-induced hearing loss because "they do not dilute the sound entering the ear and are closer to the ear canal than other sound sources, according to the complaint.

by MacNN Staff




  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh for crying out loud

    oops! am I gonna get sued for crying out too loudly without adequately warning of the possibility of hearing damage?

    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is a dumb lawsuit - it's too general. I'm filing a lawsuit against all companies that make any product that produces sound over 70 Db because no one's adequately explained to me that it may affect my hearing - none of them is sufficiently adorned with boquets of roses that have cards for free hearing checkups and a one hour consultation with a hearing specialist to explain the inherent risk to hearing.

    Then, for my follow up lawsuit, I'm goin' after God for not placing warning labels on my ears adequately explaining the effect that growing old would have on my hearing. b******!! The big man is goin' down!!!

  1. Kazrog

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I am going to sue Kitchen Aid, because I accidentally burned my chicken with my oven.

  1. alastairmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPod Law Suit

    I can't belive how some people can sue for the most trivial of things. It appears to be a cultural thing in the USA. Hasn't the complainant heard of the volume k***. They should just get over it.

  1. MMask

    Joined: Dec 1969



    huh... what...type louder I can't hear you.

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is a frivilous lawsuit if I ever heard one. I think that anyone found to have filed a lawsuit frivilously should be ordered to pay to the defendant the amount they were seeking.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wasn't this already done, like, dude, in the 80s? I'm gonna sue apple because I'm offended by the black and white color choices, it's clearly causing race riots and it hurts my feelings.

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Surely, someone tried to sue Sony back in the 80's for the Walkman not providing adequate warning about hearing loss if you play the music too loudly. That was the first time some people started to wear headphones for extended periods of time, and the Walkman was even more popular in its day than iPod is today.

    Next, someone will sue Apple for "making them" stare at the computer screen too long "without adequate warning," causing their eyes to go bad. The design of the Mac is "inherently defective" because it does not automatically shut off the screen to protect the user against eye strain.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As a nation we are going to drive ourselves into the depths of h*** with our own greed manifesting itself as this "litigation of greed".

    When ... just when did we stop being responsible for our own actions? Why is every bad thing that happens to an American the fault of someone *else* ???

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fast Food

    This is akin to suing McDonald's because you were stupid enough to eat three meals a day there and ended up getting fat. Many states have now passed laws banning those types of lawsuits because nobody forced you to eat at McDonald's. How about suing alcohol producers for the damage caused by drunk drivers? Or auto manufacturers because my car goes too fast and I lost control? Whichever lawyer took this case ought to be countersued for every penny it costs Apple to deal with this non-sense.

    My iPod cost more that it might because of Apple's legal costs to defend these frivolous lawsuits. I know, let's sue the filers of those lawsuits and their lawyers to recover the extra money we spent getting out iPods...we'll make it a class action!!

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