Apple sued by iPod user over hearing loss | iLounge News


Apple sued by iPod user over hearing loss

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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If it’s too loud…you’re too old.

Posted by pageffect on February 3, 2006 at 2:58 PM (CST)


No, it should be if it’s too loud, your hearing hasn’t been damaged yet. ;)

Posted by Nobody on February 3, 2006 at 4:10 PM (CST)


Alritey then… this guy needs to be slapped…preferably by his own mother. Disgruntled ipod owner? that is a first.
I know people in my classes who listen to their music so loud that everyone in the room can hear it, and we tell him to turn it way down. Do you think people like him will listen to warning labels? come on, his MOM would have told him that herself when she read the dozens of articles from major newspapers

I hope he loses

Posted by Jshiz on February 4, 2006 at 1:17 AM (CST)


ooooo I was going to buy an ipod, and this case would delay it till it settles.

I will sue that guy for excruating wait I have to go through if he looses the case against apple !! :D

Posted by Madhukar on February 4, 2006 at 4:05 AM (CST)


After seeing an iPod commercial, I decided to “Jerk it Out” when I was at Starbucks.  Starbucks called the cops.  The iPod commercial is confusing.  I think Apple should bail me out.

Posted by jerk on February 4, 2006 at 5:18 AM (CST)


To those of you worrying that it will be taken seriously by the legal system, don’t. As an attorney, I can tell you that judges *hate* this sort of suit and are quite adept at getting such suits thrown out. The McDonald’s obesity suit was immediately booted out of court and this one will be as well.

Posted by elo on February 4, 2006 at 11:45 AM (CST)


I wish I had this man’s email address.  Seriously.  If I did, I’d send him an email with links to all the tech forums out there where this is being discussed (such as iLounge, Yahoo, Engadget, Slashdot, etc), so he can see first-hand just how much of an idiot the world really thinks he is, as well as how the world thinks of America in general as a result of people like him.

It’s not the iPod that is “inherently defective”, Mr Patterson.  It’s your lack of common sense, your lack of personal responsibility, and your lack of a brain.

Posted by Jeff on February 4, 2006 at 1:00 PM (CST)

The vultures have a form for “reporting fraud.”  Recommend using it to tell them they are ripping everyone in the country off by abusing our judicial system.

Wonder what they would make of this:  “iPodVolumeBooster is a little Application which acts as a Workaround for the Volume Limited iPod’s which are sold in the Europe area.”

Posted by Cathy on February 5, 2006 at 2:13 AM (CST)


What I find MOST amusing is that people have turned this into an opportunity to vent their anger against America. It’s not America’s fault. People are stupid and opportunistic all over the world.

Posted by Mondayne on February 5, 2006 at 7:34 AM (CST)


People are stupid and oppertunistic all over the world but only in america does the law support these people! in most other countries this would not even get to court due to the high likelyhood of it being thrown out

Posted by james on February 5, 2006 at 12:34 PM (CST)


Thats america for you, wow, I’m sueing George Lucas because some guy cut off my neighbors head with a sword. and who says its apples foult anyway? no one’s sued Sony for their CD/MP3 players, have they? all i can say is that i dont want any volume limitation cause i’m to cheap to buy amplified speakers.

Posted by David on February 5, 2006 at 3:05 PM (CST)


This lawsuit and arguement are completely devoid of logic and a waste of everybody’s time and energy.

You can receive permanent hearing loss using a skill saw without or shooting a gun without ear plugs, listening to your car or home stereo too loudly OR listening to a cassette walkman, portable Cd player, radio or iPod too loudly for a sustained period of time. This seems perfectly obvious to me.

My point? In terms of portable music players, the device itself has evolved and progressed however the process and practice remains the same.

Cassette Walkman from the early ‘80s - Insert cassette, plug in earbuds/headphones, press play, adjust volume appropriately.

iPod - Select artist & song, plug in earbuds/headphones, press play, adjust volume appropriately.

NOTHING HAS CHANGED with the exception that now when individuals or groups of individuals make stupid mistakes they file lawsuits and project their anger at somebody else rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.  So why all of a sudden has iPod done something neglegant?  I don’t get it.  I hope this suit gets thrown out.

Posted by NiTRO on February 5, 2006 at 4:18 PM (CST)


Every time I would pound my hand with a hammer it would hurt. So I don’t do it any more. No law suit against the hammer makers or MC Hammer, or the baking soda people.

Posted by Rainman on February 5, 2006 at 5:52 PM (CST)


It’s true that there are stupid and opportunistic people all over the world.  The problem is, some of those “stupid people” are also lawyers and, worse yet, judges.  Sometimes the planets align and voila, the right combination of irresponsible consumer, opportunistic lawyer and liberal judge get together in this kind of lawsuit.

Sadly, I believe that the reputation of America being a sue-happy society is perfectly justified (And I AM an American myself, for the record).  I honestly don’t recall ever hearing of these types of frivolous lawsuits ever being filed in other countries.

Posted by Jeff on February 5, 2006 at 6:10 PM (CST)


Well for one thing, in order for an iPod to damage this guy’s hearing, he would most likely have to listen to the device at the highest volume over a long period of time, it didn’t just happen overnight. If the guy didn’t know that loud noises will potentially damage his hearing, maybe he needs to sue his parents instead.

I was born hard of hearing. Recently I have suddenly lost a noticable amount of hearing. I do like my music loud and it could have very well contributed to my recent loss. But even though I know full well the risk I take when setting my volume to near max, maybe I should just blame Apple and Dell anyway, just to make a few bucks.

People like this guy are pathetic, I really hope he doesn’t win this one.

Posted by Mandy on February 6, 2006 at 3:35 PM (CST)


Ok, it’a official… people without common sense are dumb. People shouldn’t sue apple for them going deaf because they are so stupid that they can’t put the volume down, people should sue apple for making iPods so that you have to use iTunes to download tunes on them.

Posted by DrathosKing on February 6, 2006 at 5:16 PM (CST)


Is anybody responsible for their own actions any more? What is next, warning on the hot water in my shower. I think I will sue the manufacture of my water heater. It is people like this why insurance is so expensive.

Posted by rebel_519 on February 6, 2006 at 6:13 PM (CST)


Maybe we should all sue him for making the human race look so stupid and retarded.

Posted by Kastor Troy on February 6, 2006 at 8:51 PM (CST)


The next iPods are going to scroll a song’s lyrics on the screen so you can still enjoy your music without actually having to listen to it. The iPod with Closed Captioning for the hearing impaired. The ones that play video will show mimes acting out the songs with a little sign language interpreter in the corner. And hey, lets add the little vibrator from my cell phone so the whole thing shakes in time with the music!

Add that to leaving the screen on all the time and battery life should come out to about an hour. An Hour!? Forget that! Apple’s trampling all over my civil liberties! They can’t do that, this is America. I know, I’ll sue them and force them to add sound to iPods.

Posted by marcintosh on February 7, 2006 at 6:08 PM (CST)


Maybe Apple should tell him to shove his iPod up his ass and then he can sue them for any damage that does!

Posted by nomad01 on February 8, 2006 at 6:28 AM (CST)

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