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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

61

This is not new.  When SONY came out with the original Walkman in the 70s, people and doctors were saying the same thing;  if you listen to music too loudly, you could loose your hearing.

This guy knows it, he’s just rying to make an easy buck

Posted by JOG on February 2, 2006 at 12:32 PM (PDT)

62

...if you look where the plaintiff is from it says Louisiana :p Do you actually expect a hill-billie from Louisiana…

READS like an insult towards Louisianians AND hillbillies to me. First off, I didn’t realize ALL Louisianians were “hillbillies” (as your posting implies), or that a hillbilly is too dumb to do anything other than bring on frivolous lawsuits (again, as your post implies).

Don’t worry just me, the Curse of the Bayou will probably get you in the end. Or the Revenge of the Hillbilly…whatever that is. What comes around…and all that nonsense. Kind of like this litigator will get HIS in the end.

BTW, Apple’s not the FIRST to be sued for hearing loss over headphone usage. Go into the legal departments for Sennheiser or Koss or any other can maker, or that of electronics makers like Sony or Panasonic, and you’ll find PLENTY of cases like this. (Really think that the Walkman got off scot-free from similar idiotic lawsuits all those years ago?)

Articles like this get news coverage ONLY because of the words “iPod” and “Apple”. Comes with the territory for being the current darlings of the le pop coulture world.

Posted by flatline response on February 2, 2006 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

63

Some people just need to be jailed for their own protection.

Posted by galachef55 in South on February 2, 2006 at 1:18 PM (PDT)

64

It’s bad enough that you have some idiot as the plaintiff but what about the attorney who took the case….an example of American jurisprudence at its finest.

Posted by mrstd666 on February 2, 2006 at 2:00 PM (PDT)

65

Opportunistic idiot! And even more idiotic that this is/will be taken seriously by the US legal system.
Living is making decisions, and living require judgements and subsequent adjustments of life styles if things are no smart… and continously 115 decibels is NOT SMART!

Posted by Geir T on February 2, 2006 at 2:01 PM (PDT)

66

I just sent an email to the attorney in charge of the case voicing my displeasure with such an idiotic law suit. I strongly encourage others to do the same.

http://www.hbsslaw.com

Posted by mrstd666 on February 2, 2006 at 2:10 PM (PDT)

67

I am an iPod owner. I love my iPod. If I suffer hearing loss from listening to my iPod it is my own fault, and not the fault of Apple.  I hope the court throws the case out and the judge tells the plaintiff to get a life and worry about real things like global warming, AIDS, etc.

Posted by timothy Leighton on February 2, 2006 at 2:47 PM (PDT)

68

“Patterson does not know if the device has damaged his hearing, said his attorney, Steve W. Berman, of Seattle. But that’s beside the point of the lawsuit, which takes issue with the potential the iPod has to cause irreparable hearing loss, Berman said.”

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by sue_everyone on February 2, 2006 at 3:00 PM (PDT)

69

I accelerated my car to 120 MPH and crashed into a brick wall because I like going fast. I’m suing my car company.

Posted by Robototobor on February 2, 2006 at 3:43 PM (PDT)

70

John Kiel Patterson… Puedes ir a chingar a tu madre!!!

This only happens in America, although I would like to live in America.

Posted by iKnow on February 2, 2006 at 3:54 PM (PDT)

71

Wow oh wow. They claim that the iPod does not come with any warnings. Read the damn manual for once, it’s in there. They also claim that the earbuds are defective because they go in your ear. Um, thats why their called earbuds you morons, I don’t hear anyone suing companies like Sony who also make earbud style headphones. God, I hate living in America when you’re surrounded by moronic idiots like this guy.

Posted by Nobody on February 2, 2006 at 4:57 PM (PDT)

72

Make it idiot proof and they will make a better idiot.

Posted by Someone on February 2, 2006 at 5:53 PM (PDT)

73

“Do you actually expect a hill-billie from Louisiana…”

See, the problem here is everyone knows there are no hillbillies in Lousiana. Cajuns in the south, rednecks in the north. And of course thanks to Mayor Nagin we now know New Orleans is full of chocolatey goodness… smile

It’s a joke, folks…

I’m from Lousiana, BTW, and the original statement didn’t bother me at all. We could all stand to laugh at ourselves a bit more and take umbrudge at every perceived slight a bit less. Try it. You’ll be happier and live longer.

Posted by Fangorn in Texas on February 2, 2006 at 6:51 PM (PDT)

74

“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.”

I’m surprised Nintendo wasn’t sued over the Game Boy back in 1995… when they used the “Play It Loud” ad campaign.

Posted by EricS2008 on February 2, 2006 at 6:58 PM (PDT)

75

this is crazy.
if you loose your luggage on an airplane b/c u were to lazy to get it are you gonna blame the wright brothers for inventing an incredible thing b/c u were the idiot who isnt responsible? of course not. people know about this…its common sense. do u stand infront of HUGE speakers thinking its actually helping u, uh no…its something so obvious. ppl should be kissing the feet of ipod creaters…we might still be listening to those bulky cd players…yea,

Posted by omg on February 2, 2006 at 8:24 PM (PDT)

76

Oh man, its that simple. All about the money and at the expense of everyone else. And the sad part is that if this case does actually wins ( God help us all ) we will all pay in some small way.

Posted by Kastor Troy on February 2, 2006 at 10:03 PM (PDT)

77

the law is an ###

Posted by NoiseEee on February 2, 2006 at 10:56 PM (PDT)

78

In addition to the aforementioned “personal responsibility?, I have two more words:

Torte Reform.

We need a “loser pays? judicial system.  If we had one, this ##### would be charged with ALL the expenses related to this case, once the judge throws it out of court (as I suspect he would).  It would send a message to all those idiots out there flooding our court systems with frivolous lawsuits.  Apple ALREADY provides a warning with every iPod.  Jeez, what do you want, Steve Jobs to personally hold your hand and say “Now Johnny, don’t turn it up too loud now, ok??

People like this are the reason why shampoo bottles actually have instructions on them!

Come on, Kiel.  Do the right thing.  Be an adult and accept some personal responsibility!  You are truly making yourself look like a brainless buffoon.

And Americans wonder why the rest of the world looks at us as a “sue-happy? society.  “Don’t take responsibility for your actions, just sue!”

Jeez..

Posted by Jeff on February 3, 2006 at 8:48 AM (PDT)

79

OMG I thought this was a joke!  Oh I still think it is.. thanks for the laugh.

And to the person suing, did you know you could have lowered the volumne all by yourself?  They have these types of controls, on televesions, computers, radios and even your phone!  Who would have thought?

Posted by Clicks on February 3, 2006 at 11:12 AM (PDT)

80

Hay my finger hurts from extreme use of the click wheel. Let the law sue start.

i’m joking

Posted by bond2kill on February 3, 2006 at 12:48 PM (PDT)

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