Louisiana Sues Apple For Hearing Loss Potential

As soon as Pete Townshend weighed in on the subject, we knew it was coming: a Louisiana man has sued Apple, not for an iPod actually damaging his hearing, but because they potentially could. The story’s over at Consumer Affairs:

A Louisiana man has filed a lawsuit against Apple Computer, claiming its iPods are too loud and could damage his hearing. The suit seeks class action status but does not seek specific damages.

Lawyers for John Kiel Patterson charge the mp3 players are “inherently defective” in design and do not provide sufficient warning to consumers that the volume could result in hearing loss. The suit says the iPod can produce sounds at more than 115 decibels, which it says can damage hearing if exposed to as little as a half minute per day.

Well, a vacuum cleaner could potentially injure you too if you were to press it’s mouth up against your scrotum for as little as half a second per day. It doesn’t mean you have a successful lawsuit on your hands. We love the weaselly comment from this guy’s huckster lawyer, too, in which he claims that the point of the lawsuit isn’t to win, but to “dramatize the potential of the iPod to cause permanent damage to millions of consumers who have and who will purchase the product.” Sleazy. But fun!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Amy Alkon says:

    Can we sue people for being stupid, and thus potentially driving up the cost of all consumer goods for the rest of us — those of us with the years of the advanced physics training it takes to notice a volume control and use one’s finger to move it higher or lower?

    There should be mandatory punishment for turds like this when they inevitably (let’s hope) lose their cases. My suggestion: the court-ordered tattooing of the word “assclown” on their foreheads.

  2. If this guy wins I’m going to sue the government for millions of dollars in unpaid tax refunds. Not that I have millions of dollars in unpaid refunds – yet – but one day I potentially *could*. Those greedy bastards.


  3. AcidReign says:

    …..Hmm. I find today’s headphone jacks to be WEAK, and of poor quality. Apple actually put some decent op amps in, and they get sued! Besides, no one is going to be able to keep those uncomfortable ear-buds in long enough to sustain any damage!

    …..I spent $300 several years ago on a Creek Headphone Amp, and it was one of the best audio values ever! It drives my Sennheisers very nicely! Before, when I watched DVDs with headphones, I could hardly hear the dialog.

    …..It would be a crying shame if this sort of technology gets stifled by lawyers. How to listen to our legally bought downloads,then? Oh,wait. I forgot that all Ipod users are criminals in the RIAA’s eyes.

  4. People Paula says:

    Guys like this give guys like John Edwards a bad name.

  5. LLH says:

    when this idiot loses this “lawsuit” i hope the judge rules that steve jobs himself gets to put on the earbuds and turn it up to 11 on the worst analog recorded, high end freq. distorted heavy metal rock crap if and until his hearing really IS gone. waste the courts time will he? i think not again! nuts kicking by jobs optional but entirely possible.

  6. SeekBalance says:

    Ok, I’m from Louisiana, and there are a lot of ‘assclowns’ down here (oh, so many), but this guy’s got to go public and prove it to the rest of the nation. It’s so noble of him to pay for the legal cost of this lawsuit just to make a point.

    He’s definitely got a swift kick in the nuts coming if I ever meet him on the street.

  7. Roxstar says:

    Who doesn’t know that sustained exposure to loud noises cause hearing damage? Honestly. I received a warning message with a portable cassette player over 20 years ago.

  8. Calaverius says:

    Why doesn’t he just sue sound?

  9. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Is the headline right? Should it say Louisiana Man, rather than Louisiana, or is the state suing Apple.

    Just a question, is there a way to govern the maximum value through software on the iPod? The reason I ask is that my nephews have iPods and they are constantly on. I was thinking about buying them some nice bluetooth headphones that are over the ear to eliminate some of this, but if I can do it cheaply with software, I’d rather throw that option out to my sister (their mother).

  10. AcidReign says:

    …..Oh, man! I want to be subjected to LLH’s punishment! How ’bout some good Ratt, blasted at airliner volume? Turn it up LOUDER!

  11. Amy Alkon says:

    Actually, Rowdy Roddy, I think it could depend on how you import songs into iTunes…what the settings are when you import them. I’m no expert, but the earlier CDs I imported into iTunes only play so loud, and the later ones go up to a higher volume. I’m only accidentally knowledgeable about technology, so do check this out with somebody who knows their shit.