A Texas couple are suing Apple over claims their 12-year-old son suffered ‘permanent hearing loss’ after an Amber Alert produced a ‘crashing ear noise’ while he wore AirPods.
San Antonio’s Carlos Gordoa and Ariani Reyes filed a lawsuit against the tech company on Monday. The suit says the couple’s son, identified as BG and now 14, was watching Netflix on his phone in May 2020 with his AirPods turned on at “low volume” when an Amber Alert went off.
The alert, sent without warning, resulted in the boy’s eardrum being torn, his cochlea, located in the inner ear, being damaged and “significant injury” to his hearing, the suit says.
“Due to the damage to his right ear, BG suffered from bouts of dizziness, vertigo, and nausea,” the lawsuit states. “At age 12, BG suffered sudden and permanent hearing loss in his right ear, other significant and temporary or permanent injuries, pain, suffering and loss of the pleasures of life.”
The parents said their son will have to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life and will need constant clinical attention.
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The lawsuit, which is seeking at least $75,000 in damages, says the AirPods, which were purchased in November 2019, were defective in design and workmanship, and there are no warnings or instructions on how to change the volume of certain sounds. The lawsuit includes online complaints about the volume of the AirPods, alleging that Apple knew about them.
“When AirPods are inserted into the ear in accordance with the fitting instructions given, an unreasonably hazardous environment is created in the ear without the user’s knowledge,” the suit reads. “Sudden increases in sound volumes associated with notifications or alerts are not properly equalized, limited, controlled, incremented, or reduced, posing an unreasonable or serious risk to the wearer’s hearing and health.”
USA TODAY has contacted Apple for comment.
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