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iPod shuffle owner files lawsuit over alleged sweat damage

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Tue March 16, 2010

Apple accused of false advertising

An iPod shuffle owner has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, after his device allegedly malfunctioned due to perspiration, according to The Wrap. Manhattan Beach, California resident Stephen Vale claims sweat ran down the headphone cord during an exercise session, shorting out the in-line controller on the third-generation Shuffle.

Vale reportedly took the device to a local Apple Store, where he was supplied with replacement cords that did not solve the problems. "Plaintiff was told it was alright (sic) to exercise with the music player, but not to sweat," the filing says.

The plaintiff accuses Apple of false advertisement because the company shows the device being used while running, biking, and pushing a shopping cart. The lawyers are also pushing five breach-of-warranty counts and one claim of unfair competition. Vale is seeking unspecified damages for himself and other California residents who join the class.

by MacNN Staff





  1. EternalGuest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    stop sweating.. gosh!

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wouldn't this be true of other mp3 players?

    This guy is a slob. A whiner too.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it was a dumb answer

    'don't sweat'???? WTF. People use these all the time when they work out.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Corrosive sweat

    Must be corrosive sweat. I forgot my shuffle was in my shirt pocket until the earphones fell out AFTER I did my laundry - one full cotton cycle, two nights left out to dry and the whole thing worked again pefectly. Problem is the thing is so small I now can't find it..

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Problem with our court system...

    See, I truly feel, that in a case like this, if Mr Vale looses, he should have to pay all of Apple's legal fees in defending themselves.

    This is just a ridiculous lawsuit. Hey, Mr Vale, get a sweatband for your head!

  1. Art Vandelay

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He's got a point...

    As much as I hate frivolous lawsuits, he's got a point about the headphones being improperly designed. You can't use the new shuffle when working out. Any moisture that enters the controller on the headphones causes the controller to short out. You can no longer control the shuffle and sometimes the volume will go crazy. This has been a known problem since the new shuffle came out. Apple's forums are filled with complaints yet they have not fixed it. I returned my shuffle and went back to the previous model. I won't buy the new one until they fix this.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I know it's a matter of principle, but...

    How expensive is an iPod shuffle that anyone would take the time to file a lawsuit considering that there were no physical injuries involved. Maybe he suffered from mental anguish from being deprived of the use of his shuffle. I suppose he's in his right's to sue, but maybe if he'd written a letter to somebody higher up in Apple's organization stating the problem, they might have granted him a new shuffle just to keep a customer satisfied. It seems reasonable to do so. I'd sure like to know how much money he's asking for to make it worth the effort.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doctor, It Hurts When I Do This ...

    "You can't use the new shuffle when working out."

    Then don't do that.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    My fairly expensive sony headphones crapped out on me because of perspiration. Did I file a lawsuit against sony because my sport headphone crapped out in an unreasonable amount of time? No. The guy has filed a lawsuit. He could have probably gotten a new shuffle and controller by actually writing a letter of displeasure to Apple, following his visit to the Apple store.

    They should offer him completely new equipment and dismiss this, leaving the little baby with his enormous legal bill to pay, I think at that point he'll have learned his lesson.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    1. I'll bet the Apple store employee said "don't get sweat in the headphone jack," and not "don't sweat."

    2. If this were a problem, we'd be hearing about it from a lot of people. I wonder if he took a big slurp from a water bottle and spilled water in his shuffle.

    Either way, what does he hope to win? A settlement? A free iPod shuffle - is this really worth his time?

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