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Apple sued by iPod user over hearing loss

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2006
News Categories: iPod

A disgruntled iPod owner has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the device causes hearing loss and that the company does not properly warn users of this danger. iPods are “inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss,” according to the complaint, which was filed yesterday on behalf of John Kiel Patterson in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.

The suit, which seeks class action status, demands compensation for unspecified plaintiffs’ damages and upgrades to make iPods safer to use. According to the complaint, iPods can produce sounds of more than 115 decibels, which can damage the hearing of a person exposed for more than 28 seconds per day. Apple ships a warning with each iPod that states “permanent hearing loss may occur if earphones or headphones are used at high volume.”

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Comments

1

How stupid can people get.  This is as bad as people sueing McDonalds for making them fat.  Poeple have to be accountable for their own actions.  Don’t be an idiot just turn down the volume, I think Pete Townsend was trying to start some movement to turn it down.  I hope apple wins this one because it sounds ridiculous.

Posted by http://thankgodimanutsack.blogspot.com on February 1, 2006 at 6:28 PM (PDT)

2

What a maroon.

Posted by navamske on February 1, 2006 at 6:34 PM (PDT)

3

On the other hand, European iPods have shipped with a volume limiter since 2002, in accordance with EU safety regulations, so perhaps Apple are being negligent not to limit USA iPods in the same way.

Posted by jim on February 1, 2006 at 6:38 PM (PDT)

4

Sue America!! Yehh

I caught a cold last night, putting my thermostat to low. I will sue the landlord for giving me the option to turn my thermostat up and down.

Posted by dave95 on February 1, 2006 at 7:02 PM (PDT)

5

This is just ridiculous. And rather sad that people would stoop so low as to blame someone else for their own stupid actions. I hope this case gets so far thrown out of court. Apple should not put ANY limiter on the iPod in my opinion. They should not be responsible for teaching common sense. That starts at home.

Posted by Tenchi211 in California on February 1, 2006 at 7:08 PM (PDT)

6

It is hard to believe that there are people that desperate to even consider a lawsuit over ruining their own hearing with a device such as an Ipod.

All I can say is that this is another example of America’s moral decay.  I am embarrassed to share the same soil with these people who sue corporations over their own stupidity.

Posted by davidvardy on February 1, 2006 at 7:23 PM (PDT)

7

In other news,
A rock concert fan sued their favourite band because he suffered permanent hearing loss after deciding to stand in front of one of the giant speekers the entire concert.

Posted by keyMACer on February 1, 2006 at 7:27 PM (PDT)

8

What fresh hell is this?  I find it hard to believe that one needs to be warned to turn the volume down or risk hearing loss.  What an idiot! :(

Posted by Black Beauty on February 1, 2006 at 7:34 PM (PDT)

9

sue happy America… typical :(

Posted by blahhh on February 1, 2006 at 7:35 PM (PDT)

10

Another sad example of someone not wanting to take personal responsibility for their actions.

“Get Over It” The Eagles; Hell Freezes Over album

“I turn on the tube and what do I see, a whole lot of people crying don’t blame me….Victim of this, victim of that.  My momma’s too thin and my daddy’s too fat!”

Posted by ucfgrad93 on February 1, 2006 at 7:40 PM (PDT)

11

there is a printed warning in the features guide available from apple

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Fifth_Gen_iPod_Features_Guide.pdf

gald i could help in your defense, mr. jobs.

Posted by Stephan on February 1, 2006 at 7:50 PM (PDT)

12

Only in the U S of A!  Wow!

Posted by Simon Wilson on February 1, 2006 at 7:52 PM (PDT)

13

Not that I believe Canada to be a perfect country, however the loser pays law in Canada does a good job of curbing such frivolous lawsuits. For those unfamiliar with the concept the idea is that if I sue you and lose the case then I am responsible to pay for your legal fees incurred to defend yourself, within reasonable limits. The problem is in the US that people can simply file lawsuits for every little thing, on the basis of their lawyer accepting a portion of the settlement should they win. The defendant however is required to constantly pay for all the legal fees to defend themselves, so win or lose the defendant loses. At least with loser pays the loss to the defendant is not directly financial.

Posted by David Reimer on February 1, 2006 at 7:55 PM (PDT)

14

friggin idiots. stupid law suits. liberty and justice for all, my ###.

Posted by eric on February 1, 2006 at 8:30 PM (PDT)

15

wow…it’s not the ipods fault…especially when different earphones/headphones get a slightly different volume at the same volume levels on the ipod. hope it doesn’t turn into a psp volume, which isn’t that loud even at max volume in your headphones. lame

Posted by guy on February 1, 2006 at 8:49 PM (PDT)

16

From the 5th gen manual:

“Warning: Permanent hearing loss may occur if earbuds or
headphones are used at high volume. You can adapt over time
to a higher volume of sound that may sound normal but can be
damaging to your hearing. If you experience ringing in your ears or
muffled speech, stop listening and have your hearing checked.
The louder the volume, the less time is required before your
hearing could be affected. Hearing experts suggest that to
protect your hearing:”

Yea, so this has no chance. I hate how so many people are suing Apple over stupid things.

Posted by mrcowcow on February 1, 2006 at 8:49 PM (PDT)

17

This man is an idiot. That’s all I have say.

Posted by Glorybox3737 on February 1, 2006 at 8:54 PM (PDT)

18

Ya Know…..

I hate apple and macs as much as the next guy, but this has gone way too far…

I know the EU ipods are volume limited, but this here is America pal, and we have a constitutional right to damage our hearing without the guberment telling us what to do…

YES THIS IS SARCASM, THANKS FOR NOTICING smile

Posted by SueMeSueMe on February 1, 2006 at 8:54 PM (PDT)

19

I’m hearing impaired.

This man is an idiot…He is blaming Apple for his own neglect.  It is not Apple’s responsiblilty to teach him about his hearing…Fool.

Posted by Cameron T. on February 1, 2006 at 9:32 PM (PDT)

20

Don’t be so harsh on the guy.
Myself, I’m planning on suing the Solar System for damaging my eyes after staring at the Sun all afternoon. I hope I’ll have all your support!

Posted by Nathan on February 1, 2006 at 9:49 PM (PDT)

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