An AirPods Pro Amber Alert Destroyed Teen’s Hearing, Lawsuit Claims
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Apple is facing a new lawsuit from the parents of a teenage boy who allegedly suffered permanent hearing loss while using his AirPods to watch Netflix.
The teen in question, identified as “B.G.” in the complaint, is a 12-year-old boy in San Antonio, Texas, who was watching a movie on Netflix using his iPhone and AirPods “at a low volume” when an Amber Alert suddenly went off and “tore apart” his eardrum.
First reported by Street Insider, the complaint (via Law360) claims that the alert “damaged his cochlea, and caused significant injuries to B.G.’s hearing.” In addition, the youngster has reportedly suffered tinnitus and “bouts of dizziness, vertigo, and nausea.”
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The teen’s parents, Carlos Gordoa and Ariani Reyes have filed a lawsuit against Apple and its AirPods manufacturing partner Luxshare, alleging that Apple is knowingly selling defective products that fail to manage volume levels properly.
“Defendants place defective AirPods into the stream of commerce that (a) fail to automatically reduce or limit notification and/or alert volumes, (b) fail to self-adjust, gradually increase, or otherwise equalize notification and/or alert volumes, and (c) fail to include any warnings of the defect(s) described herein or fail to include inadequate warnings of the defect(s) described herein.”
The complaint is making claims for negligence, strict liability design defect, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, gross negligence, breach of implied warranty, fraud by non-disclosure, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The parents are also seeking damages for their son’s pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish, future medical expenses, and punitive damages from Apple and Luxshare.
While it’s easy for many to dismiss lawsuits like this as frivolous, in this case, it sounds like the family has a valid complaint. According to the court filing, “B.G. will require consistent clinical follow-up visits, testing, and monitoring, and must use a hearing aid for the rest of his life.”
This boy’s life has been severely altered because Apple did not provide a warning about the volume levels of its?AirPods, leading to his permanent hearing loss. Had Apple designed the AirPods to self-adjust to safe levels or provided warnings about the volume increases associated with alerts, this boy would be living a normal life.Tej Paranjpe, Paranjpe Mahadass Ruemke LLP
This isn’t an isolated incident, either. The complaint includes screenshots of posts from Apple Discussions where several users have raised similar concerns.
One 2019 post asks how to adjust the notification volume on AirPods while listening to music. The original poster notes that the notification sounds are far too loud, and 1540 others have acknowledged that they have the same question.
When a notification comes through I want to rip my AirPods out, it is so loud! Sometimes I get so startled