Apple faces class-action suit over iPod volume

By Derek Sooman on February 5, 2006, 3:22 AM
Back in court again, Apple is now facing a class action complaint, brought by a customer who claims the company did not adequately warn customers about the potential for hearing loss from using the iPod. It is claimed that, at full volume, the device can damage hearing.

A complaint filed with a California court this week alleged that Apple’s music players were "inherently defective in design" and "not adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss".
The complaint contends that millions of consumers have had their hearing put at risk by Apple’s conduct.




User Comments: 35

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Mictlantecuhtli said:
I guess all products these days need to be filled with warnings what might happen if someone uses them.This is just stupid. One step closer for getting a [url=http://www.darwinawards.com/]Darwin Award[/url] though.
Phantasm66 said:
Maybe iPods should have a label that also says:"WARNING. EATING THIS PRODUCT MAY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH."
djleyo said:
Phantasm66 NICE ONE :)i cant believe people still try to get attention or get some quick money is this the 4 time apple is take to court(ithink by now all ipod users know the (issues) ipod products havei dont know about all of the other ipod users but i clearly saw the warning that this devices may cause hearing lossi think any player out there if you crank the volume up can damage your hearing thats why they have noise cancelling earplugs so you dont crank it up Its a risk all of us have to take What !!!dont tell me youre not going to a bar because of the loud noises or go to an air show or go to the super bowl !!! ***please !!!
DragonMaster said:
Panasonic went an other way : The maximum volume isn't too loud.If people are yelling next to you and you're using open headphones, you don't hear what's on the disc.That's bad for expensive headphones which require more volume tho.
Didou said:
I've got dibs on Creative.
Need_a_Dell said:
Oh man. How stupid can people get? I can't believe that it's possible to sue for something so dumb. This makes me think of the lawsuit against McDonalds when the lady sued over the coffee being made too hot. Why is it that people can now sue over the most ridiculous things? Are they going to need warnings on boxes of cereal now saying that it may satisfy hunger? Obviously the iPod is equipped with a volume control. If this guy didn't like it being so loud, we didn't he turn it down a bit?? After this lawsuit, I hope that he goes deaf so that he can never appreciate the mobile music magic supplied by the amazing iPod.
blue_dragon said:
I get why the kid wants to file a suit..but come on Apple..nothing in the business world is common sense..you have to eliminate the risk of loosing money cuz if you are loosing money you are loosing business in a vicious cycle.if it means putting a ugly label on the ipod..go ahead..it wont change the performance of your product..i dont own an ipod but i have used my cousins ipod..even thoguht my sony mp3 player was cheaper it still had avls..some decibel protection..which is good cuz it stops me from raising the volume to a dangerour level. this reminds me of my drivers ed class..my teacher said in this world you need warning for everything..one example is kicking the ball over the fence to the next door neighbor. you hear a dog bark even though there is no dog warning sign....and what do you do? you jump in at get bitten and you still get away with your lawsuit even though it was common sense there was a vicios dog next door
JMMD said:
OMG, this is just rediculous. They need to have a system where they can weed out frivolous law suits like this. I mean, could I sue my microwave maker because my food came out too hot. What is I turn my home theater up too loud. People need to take some responsibilty for their own actions. The "class" will get very little, it's the lawyers who are going to make out like bandits. I hope it ends up costing the lawyers millions and they get nothing.
MonkeyMan said:
Well, their hearing was put at risk, but the question is, has anyone actually lost their hearing? I don't think this will go very far in the legal system, because, well, you have to have results from an action made by Apple, and so far, there is none. This lawsuit is bogus, and I don't think it will get very far. Its lawsuits like this that is hurting major companies, and also, the economy. There should be a punishment for ppl who try to bring up frivolous law suits.
Nic said:
People would complain if it didn't go loud enough...
PUTALE said:
I think it's kinda of stupid lawsuite. Everybody should know that a loud sound will damage your hearing, regardless it's from ipod, or anything at all. It's a bit common sense, don't you think
exscind said:
This is probably the dumbest lawsuit I've seen in a while. Using earphones at full volume may result in hearing loss?Fact: Earphones is worse than cranking up a nice set of surround speakers at full volume.I never use earphones, and hence why I'll never use iPods or any other mobile devices like this. Earphones, in all honesty, is the one of the worst, if not THE worst, device that kills your hearing. People say loud speakers hurt hearing, sure. But at least with surround speakers you have a certain amount of distance for the loudness of the noise to be diluted in ambient air. Guess where the ambient air is when you use earphones? That's right, nowhere. You essentially get 100% transference of sound from earphones to ears (+/- some inherent inefficiencies). So, the lawsuit is really a moot point in my opinion and hopefully Apple will beat down the person suing them.
Jmag034 said:
IM REALLY SICK OF ALL THESE LAWSUITS!/rant[color=red]Please avoid bad language here.--Mictlantecuhtli[/color]
DragonMaster said:
[quote]Why is it that people can now sue over the most ridiculous things?[/quote]That's USA's system, some people sue companies just to make money, or are just too stupid. Companies now have to put warnings like "Do not immerse in water" on hair dryers, and "Do not use your balls to stop the chainsaw" not to get sued. That's like RIAA and software patents...
Electrick Gypsy said:
Does this also mean that I can sue Marshall Amps for the hearing loss I've aquired over the years from working with live bands???????ROFLMFAO . . . . Only in the US of A can you sue due to your own stupidity.
DragonMaster said:
[quote]Does this also mean that I can sue Marshall Amps for the hearing loss I've aquired over the years from working with live bands??????? [/quote]If it's not on any documentation coming with it, on the box or the amp itself, yes you can.
crossfire851 said:
[b]Originally posted by Jmag034:[/b][quote]IM REALLY SICK OF ALL THESE LAWSUITS!/rant[/quote]Please no cursing family sever.... little kids like me come here. (lol)[color=red]Fixed.--Mictlantecuhtli[/color]I think this is redicous like everyone else, I don't see how ppl can bring things like this to court.
DragonMaster said:
[quote]I don't see how ppl can bring things like this to court.[/quote]Corruption
nathanskywalker said:
Hey, guess what people(not reffering to anyone herel) if you put a large volume of sound into you ear, seal the exits so that the only things sound can do is reverbrate around in your eardrums, you are going to receive hearing loss as payment, duh.... Come on seriously, have you people no sense at all? And now you are going to sue apple, and while i don't love apple i am not for pointless law suites, but you are going to sue apple for your own ignorance? GET A LIFE!!!! gosh, your own fault, you seriously just want to be an ingnoramous and have some coporation hold you by the hand every step of the way? Grow up!!! think for yourselves, don't believe what the media tells you without checking it out!!! gosh, common sense, people just don't have it anymore, and now someone is getting sued for it, and many people have been hurt because of it.
seanp789 said:
This is actually a legitimate claim. If apple does not settle they will more than likely lose this case. Dont forget McDonalds lost their case for not labelling their coffee as HOT.
PanicX said:
The ability to sue for any reason is a great strength for peoples rights. If the government could prevent you for suing for a specific reason, they can prevent you from suing for any reason. Fortunately, judges can dismis frivilous lawsuits and even force the plantiff to compensate the defendant for attorney fees which normally helps deter them in the first place. However, my favorite product warning is for clothing irons. "Do not iron clothes while on body.", awesome.
crossfire851 said:
[b]Originally posted by DragonMaster:[/b][quote][quote]I don't see how ppl can bring things like this to court.[/quote]Corruption[/quote]Highly agreed, instead of trying to "help" other countries and what not, we should start here in the gold old us of a.
cyrax said:
The person was quite foolish. If the volume was too loud, turn it down. Or better yet, use another mp3 player. Everyone has a choice.
Cy6erpuke said:
Warning: this is a volume button. Pressing it might perhaps make the music louder! The smaller the ipod, the more they have to print on it! Silly!
nic said:
Keeps the lawyers in work and very happy indeed...that's probably why the legal profession are quite happy for things to remain this way (sue everyone culture).
talosian said:
[b]Originally posted by Need_a_Dell:[/b][quote]Oh man. How stupid can people get? I can't believe that it's possible to sue for something so dumb. This makes me think of the lawsuit against McDonalds when the lady sued over the coffee being made too hot. Why is it that people can now sue over the most ridiculous things? Are they going to need warnings on boxes of cereal now saying that it may satisfy hunger? Obviously the iPod is equipped with a volume control. If this guy didn't like it being so loud, we didn't he turn it down a bit?? After this lawsuit, I hope that he goes deaf so that he can never appreciate the mobile music magic supplied by the amazing iPod.[/quote]Two points here must be considered: First, please read the original case about the lady who sued McDonalds and after you know the underlying FACTS, you, like many other people, may feel she was well entitltd to her win.Second, I am a former California attorney (until I turned honest, and that's no joke). Have you noticed how many Class Action and other "questionable" suite are filed in California? Why? Well, in a Class Action suit, the only real winners are the attorneys who can get literally millions of $$ in fees while each individual plaintiff and/or Class member may get only pennies or maybe in the iPod case, credit for 1 or two songs downloaded or $3.00 off their next iPod/Apple purchase. And often defendants in Class Action suits settle because of the cost of fighting the suit and the fear that if there is a germ of "truth" in the underlying reasoning for the suit, they could lose with a jury or even a judge.Just some information to consider as you will and give the weight you want.Many Class
sornypanafonic said:
[b]Originally posted by Didou:[/b][quote]I've got dibs on Creative.[/quote]hahahahahaaaa.....yeah i agree with everyone that this is a silly lawsuit and while i dont have the natural instinct to sue for everything i applaud the people out there who make sure that everything in our lives come with a warning label. nintendo now makes u press start before the start of any game because they got sued, now i think its sony's time and maybe ill hit up microsoft next year.
canadian said:
I cant wait till the day, when to buy a simple electronic, you must fill out a 15 page contract, stating you know the risks, and why it is bad to attempt to shove up the nose etc.
Cartz said:
Here's to hoping the Judge has enough sense to throw this case right out on it's ear...And here's to hoping they slam the plaintiff with the defendants legal bills as well. Ridiculous court cases like this waste everyones time and energy, it's not what the legal system was designed for.
Agent_J said:
hmm Apple's stock has already fallen 6.61% possibly due to this lawsuit, so it may have some credibility[Edited by Agent_J on 2006-02-06 13:59:59]
DragonMaster said:
Just noticed: even my new DVD player includes a warning for possible hearing loss :[quote]Selecting fine audio equipment such as the unityou’ve just purchased is only the start of yourmusical enjoyment. Now it’s time to consider howyou can maximize the fun and excitement yourequipment offers. This manufacturer and theElectronic Industries Association’s ConsumerElectronics Group want you to get the most out ofyour equipment by playing it at a safe level. One thatlets the sound come through loud and clear withoutannoying blaring or distortion-and, most importantly,without affecting your sensitive hearing.Sound can be deceiving. Over time your hearing“comfort level” adapts to higher volumes of sound.So what sounds “normal” can actually be loud andharmful to your hearing. Guard against this bysetting your equipment at a safe level BEFORE yourhearing adapts.To establish a safe level:• Start your volume control at a low setting.• Slowly increase the sound until you can hear itcomfortably and clearly, and without distortion.Once you have established a comfortable soundlevel:• Set the dial and leave it there.Taking a minute to do this now will help to preventhearing damage or loss in the future. After all, wewant you listening for a lifetime.We Want You Listening For A LifetimeUsed wisely, your new sound equipment willprovide a lifetime of fun and enjoyment. Sincehearing damage from loud noise is oftenundetectable until it is too late, this manufacturerand the Electronic Industries Association’sConsumer Electronics Group recommend you avoidprolonged exposure to excessive noise. This list ofsound levels is included for your protection.DecibelLevel Example30 Quiet library, soft whispers40 Living room, refrigerator, bedroom away from traffic50 Light traffic, normal conversation, quiet office60 Air conditioner at 20 feet, sewing machine70 Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, noisy restaurant80 Average city traffic, garbage disposals, alarm clockat two feet.THE FOLLOWING NOISES CAN BE DANGEROUSUNDER CONSTANT EXPOSURE90 Subway, motorcycle, truck traffic, lawn mower100 Garbage truck, chain saw, pneumatic drill120 Rock band concert in front of speakers,thunderclap140 Gunshot blast, jet plane180 Rocket launching padInformation courtesy of the Deafness Research Foundation.[/quote]
AeonXX said:
[quote]This is actually a legitimate claim. If apple does not settle they will more than likely lose this case. Dont forget McDonalds lost their case for not labelling their coffee as HOT.[/quote]You sound like a lawyer. Heheh, I couldn't resist! I think the lawyers will be the winners here, on both sides of the fence. For one thing, Apple will probably settle because they don't need the bad publicity. However, I think this lawsuit is another bogus claim made by ignorant people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions and consequences. It's called causality people, when you do stupid things, you get stupid results.
John Staerck said:
Give the plaintiff some credit :-) He's not sueing because he's stupid, he's sueing because he's greedy.
nic said:
[b]Originally posted by John Staerck:[/b][quote]Give the plaintiff some credit :-) He's not sueing because he's stupid, he's sueing because he's greedy. [/quote]He might be stupid...anyone know different?
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[b]Originally posted by canadian:[/b][quote]I cant wait till the day, when to buy a simple electronic, you must fill out a 15 page contract, stating you know the risks, and why it is bad to attempt to shove up the nose etc.[/quote]And toothpicks will have instructions for use as Douglas Adams predicted :)
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