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Apple Defeats Lawsuit Against Earphone Design

A federal US court has rubbished a class action lawsuit filed against Apple Inc., which held the company responsible for "possible hearing loss" caused from listening to the company’s popular iPod device.

The lawsuit, which had previously been rejected by a California court, said that the "very design" of the Apple’s patented iPod headphones were instrumental in putting users' hearing at risk.

However, the court said in its ruling that "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."

The class action lawsuit was filed by Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner, who were seeking monetary damage from Apple along with the pledge that the company will improve safety and disclosures, provide better headphones and test iPod users for hearing loss.

The duo had argued in the court that Apple headphone ear-plugs posed a threat to users’ hearing abilities as they were designed to place deep in the ear canal.

The iPhone smartphone maker, in recent years, has emerged victorious from a number of lawsuits that were filed against the company which also included lawsuits over the speed and reliability of the iPhone.

Our Comments

Strangely enough, that court decision came a couple of weeks after the European Commission has confirmed that it will be limiting the volume on MP3 devices. This comes as a direct consequence of the rising number of young adults that are suffering from hearing damage.

Related Links

Now Hear This: Apple Wins Appeal in iPod Hearing Loss Lawsuit (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Apple wins appeal over alleged iPod hearing loss


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Court: iPod hearing loss your fault, not Apple's

(The Register)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.