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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

21

I’m embarrassed to be a part of American society with stuff like this. Skim the article that’s linked in the news post and you’ll find even more idiotic nonsense:

“White headphones commonly referred to as ear buds, which ship with the iPod, also 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, the complaint states.”

These are the grounds for a lawsuit in America. It doesn’t matter if all earphones and headphones are close to the ear canal (which they are by design) with the way this complaint is worded.

“Apple has also contributed to hearing loss in iPod users by including phrases such as ‘crank up the tunes’ and ‘bring in the noise’ in lesson manuals related to the device, according to the complaint.”

This is probably the saddest part of the entire complaint. It’s basically saying that, for example, if a band titles one of their songs “Play It Loud,” they’re intentionally subjecting you to hearing loss and you should sue them.

Posted by MICHAE2414 on February 1, 2006 at 10:09 PM (PDT)

22

Whoever is doing this can go to hell!
This is just like that ##### who sued mcdonalds!
People should stop suing for this bull-####!
This guy can go to hell!
They should make a law and arrest people who do this bull-####!

Posted by tgcujo on February 1, 2006 at 10:11 PM (PDT)

23

Agreed the plaintiff is a jerk, but what about the lawyer?  Our Canadian neighbor is right - there’d be a lot less of this if there were a way to sock it to those who file these frivolous suits.

Posted by Cathy on February 1, 2006 at 10:55 PM (PDT)

24

That’s it. I’m moving to Mars.

Posted by Joshdude in Long Beach, CA on February 1, 2006 at 11:17 PM (PDT)

25

That is UTTERLY ridiculous.  Hearing loss only happens WHEN YOU TURN UP THE VOLUME.  The ipod works at lower volume.  There are settings in itunes to lower the volume.

Watch, some idiot judge will let this go on and on.

tgcujo, like most people, you don’t know anything about the McDonalds coffee case.  McD’s was intentionally serving coffee at temperatures far above industry norm and had been warned repeatedly by their own legal department, who had settled numerous burn cases in the two years prior, to lower the temps to industry standard.  Furthermore, the manufacturer of the coffee system recommended a temp ten degrees lower than what McDs was using.  There are many many other little things that make the McD’s case valid.

Read the case files.  The lawsuit was 100% valid, and every law student in America studoes it now as a *good* example of a negligence tort.

Posted by stark23x on February 1, 2006 at 11:42 PM (PDT)

26

They’re seeking class action status, meaning there are more morons out there that will join in this charade, ugh…

Posted by J dubbya K on February 1, 2006 at 11:53 PM (PDT)

27

As a law student from Canada, I can tell you that there are also severe statutory limits on class action lawsuits as well as reasonable caps on damage judgments; although there is a large percentage of plaintiff personal injury litigators that would love us to adopt what they describe as a “more developed” civil law approach like our American friends. One of our profs, a well known criminal defence lawyer that has argued many cases in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, is never without his ipod when not teaching.

Posted by j.c. on February 2, 2006 at 12:06 AM (PDT)

28

me no brain - me living in america - me sueing everything - me eating prozac for breakfast - me voting bush - world wishing i die

Posted by user on February 2, 2006 at 12:07 AM (PDT)

29

Here we go…user, please tell me how Bush has anything to do with the out-of-control lawsuits in America?  Are you dumb enough to think that it all started in 2001?

Posted by stark23x on February 2, 2006 at 12:18 AM (PDT)

30

This is just beyond stupid, and it can only happen in the US.

Let’s see how I can get in on the act ...

I’ll sue Apple for making iPods only in white or black, I think they are discriminating against those of us who prefer other colors, it might even be a bigotory policy of Apple’s. Why not yellow?

Posted by Amazed in Hong Kong. on February 2, 2006 at 12:57 AM (PDT)

31

LMAO smile
You must see the irony in this… if you look where the plaintiff is from it says Louisiana :p Do you actually expect a hill-billie from Louisiana who bought the iPod to show off to actually read the manual?! I’m guessing it took him the better part of the day just to turn it on so this isn’t really such a surprise for me. Stupid people do stupid things and the USA which, despite being the most powerful and developed country in the world, is filled with sub-average intelligence individuals. Therefore this is mostly to be expected. The USA is great and all but not because of the masses. It is this way because you have a few really high peaks of intelligence which drive your whole country. That’s super for the people as a whole but on a per-individual basis… your totally screwed… just as this very eloquent case proves.

Posted by Just me on February 2, 2006 at 1:42 AM (PDT)

32

HAH! You people are SO funny.

At the very least, this bozo’s given you something to vent over.

Just me: keep your insulting thoughts about Louisiana to yourself. A hell of a lot of people suffered PLENTY down there thanks to Katrina, and we sure don’t need you dissing them any more just because ONE individual is suing your precious Apple, as if the whole bloody world revolves around them and their iPods.

Posted by flatline response on February 2, 2006 at 1:52 AM (PDT)

33

....twat

But I do like the EU volume limit, I dont see why you would need it to go any higher.

It is quite easy to accadently shoot the volume up to full. While in your pocket, but youve got hold for that.

Posted by Peachey on February 2, 2006 at 2:20 AM (PDT)

34

Anyone PLEASE answer these questions.

Why is APPLE always the centre of this discussion and other companies like Sony and Creative etc, are NOT to blame too?  Doesn’t this could problem effect ALL MP3 PLAYERS?

It should be YOUR responablity to listen to your iPod at a reasonable volume, I only listen to my iPod at half volume and only occasionally increase the volume.

Posted by Simon on February 2, 2006 at 3:50 AM (PDT)

35

KEEP ON ROCKING THOSE IPODS!!!!!!

Posted by Simon on February 2, 2006 at 3:51 AM (PDT)

36

Please!  Don’t EVEN try to tell me that this kind of ridiculous lawsuit WOULDN’T happen in other countries if their legal systems were set up to allow them.  It happens here because it’s easy to do.  Got a gripe? Got a lawyer? File a lawsuit.

Believe me, if it were easier to get away with in Canada, it would happen their as well.

Posted by The Raven in USA on February 2, 2006 at 4:01 AM (PDT)

37

What does it mean when there is blood in my pee?

Posted by tad handsome on February 2, 2006 at 4:45 AM (PDT)

38

tad handsome… just for the record… =))))))
And the answer is… someone must have kicked you in the back so hard that it damaged your kidneys… or maybe you fell hard enough on your back. Thanks for making me laugh.

to flatline response: I’m sorry if you felt insulted. It was not what I intended to do. I’m sorry about Katrina and I didn’t know it hit Louisiana… but what does that have to do with the fact that this guy is plainly a #####? It’s stupid and I just commented on the fact that just because you have the ability to do something doesn’t mean you should… and the fact that stupid people tend to ignore that fact. This being the reason for which there are so many nonsense lawsuits in the USA. I’m not defending Apple. This law suit could be brought to any music player manufacturer’s doorstep so if this guy wins it would be a real hinderance for everybody who likes to listen to music as they see fit.

Posted by Just me on February 2, 2006 at 5:03 AM (PDT)

39

“Why is APPLE always the centre of this discussion and other companies like Sony and Creative etc, are NOT to blame too?  Doesn’t this could problem effect ALL MP3 PLAYERS?”

Because people who use them are smart and most iPod users are kinda retarded?

Posted by jeepsahoy on February 2, 2006 at 5:04 AM (PDT)

40

This is just plain stupid. I have been hearing my headphones with my laptop, I know whats loud and whats right for me.

You have to be more responsible unlike that useless fa**ot who probably doesnt have ANYTHING better to do with his lame pathetic life.

My 2 cents…

Posted by aer0sense on February 2, 2006 at 5:15 AM (PDT)

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