• Court Finds Apple Not Liable for Hearing Loss

    A Federal appeals court in the United States has found Apple is not liable for hearing damage as a result of people listening to music too loud on their iPods. AppleInsider notes a Reuters report on the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a 2008 dismissal of a case brought against Apple that claimed that Apple knew that iPod earbuds were defective, and that there should have been a warning of the possibility of permanent hearing loss.

    The plaintiffs said that iPods can play music at 104 decibels, which is a noise level equivalent to helicopters and power mowers. A noise warning does appear in the iPod user manuals, but the lawsuit said that there is should have been an indication of the iPodís volume capability on the device itself, according to the complaint. The lawsuit had to be dismissed, according to Senior Judge David Thompson, because it failed to show that the devices were unsafe for the devices' ordinary use of listening to music.

    The plaintiffs do not allege the iPods failed to do anything they were designed to do nor do they allege that they, or any others, have suffered or are substantially certain to suffer inevitable hearing loss or other injury from iPod use. At most the plaintiffs plead a potential risk of hearing loss not to themselves, but to other unidentified iPod users.
    Earlier complaints had led Apple to add a "Maximum Volume Limit" setting in the iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod in version 1.1.1 of the firmware.

    The plaintiffs, Bruce Waggoner and Joseph BIrdsong, were looking for monetary damages in addition to a safety label on the iPod itself, as well as redesigned earbuds that could not be inserted as far into the ear canal.

    image via blurbomat.com
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