Apple sued for iPod hearing loss risk

Lawyers representing Louisiana resident John Kiel Patterson recently filed suit against Apple in federal court in San Jose, Calif. Patterson claims that Apple’s iPod is “inherently defective” in its design and can contribute to hearing loss.

Patterson’s lawyers are requesting that the suit be expanded to a class action. They are requesting compensation for plaintiffs’ hearing loss and want Apple to upgrade the iPod to make it safer. The suit doesn’t indicate whether Patterson has suffered any hearing loss from using his iPod, according to the Associated Press .

The lawsuit contends that the ipod can generate more than 115 decibels — a noise level that can damage hearing if the user is exposed to it for more than short bursts of time.

The suit also claims that the iPod is “not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings.” Yet Apple advises users in documentation included with each iPod that permanent hearing loss can occur if the device is used at high volume levels.

The suit contends that Apple has already reworked the iPod to comply with noise restrictions in France, where such devices are limited to 100 decibels. Apple has not made any such changes to the iPods sold in the United States, however.

Apple routinely does not comment on matters that involve pending litigation.

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