Apple Lawsuit Alleges AirPods Tore Apart A Child's Eardrums During An Amber Alert
A lawsuit has been filed claiming that a pair of Apple's AirPods Pro earbuds damaged a 12-year-old boy's eardrums when a loud Amber Alert was played. The suit claims the young boy has suffered permanent hearing loss as a result.
The complaint filed Monday in Texas identifies the 12-year-old as B.G. and states that he was watching Netflix on his iPhone on low volume when an Amber Alert went off without warning. According to the suit, the high-volume alert "tore apart' the boy's eardrum and damaged his cochlea, resulting in tinnitus, nausea, dizziness, and permanent hearing loss in his right ear. It also states that B.G. will have to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life.
Apple is being accused of knowing that it was producing "defective" AirPods that do not automatically reduce the volume of alerts or equalize notification and alert volumes. The suit also lays fault on Apple for failing to include a warning about the potential issue.
The lawsuit also names Luxshare-IDT Inc., which imports the earbuds for Apple, and Luxshare Precision Industry Co. Ltd., which manufactures the AirPods. It alleges that Apple and Luxshare have known about the earbuds being severely defective, yet have done nothing to correct it.
Several online posts have been pointed to by the suit of users complaining that they received alerts that were played at full volume through their AirPods while having the overall volume lowered on the devices.
"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," stated Tej Paranjpe of Paranjpe Madhadass Ruemke LLP, which represents the family. "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."
Included in the lawsuit are claims for negligence, strict liability design defect, manufacturing defect and failure to warn, gross negligence, breach of implied warranty, fraud by non-disclosure, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The family is also seeking damages for the 12-year-old boy's pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish and future medical expenses, as well as punitive damages.
Top Image Courtesy of Apple