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.