A lawsuit has been filed against Apple by the parents of a boy from Texas who suffered permanent hearing loss when his Apple AirPods wireless headphones produced an extremely loud Amber Alert.
The incident allegedly occurred in May 2020, when a 12-year old boy identified as “B.G.” was watching Netflix on his iPone at a low volume using an Apple AirPod in his right ear.
Suddenly and without warning, an Amber Alert blared “at a volume that tore apart B.G.’s ear drum, damaged his cochlea, and caused significant injuries to B.G.’s hearing,” the lawsuit claims.
He now must use a hearing aid in his right ear for the rest of his life, according to his parents. In addition, he also struggles with tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and pain.
The lawsuit claims that Apple AirPods are defective because they do not automatically limit or control the volume on Amber Alerts and other Notifications, even when the volume is set low.
The result is that users are suddenly hit by hearing-damaging Notifications and Amber Alerts that blare at maximum volume.
Apple is also accused of ignoring complaints from users. The lawsuit cites several complaints, including one on the company’s Apple Support website: “AirPods Notifications are EXTREMELY LOUD, while other sounds are not.”
The Apple AirPods Lawsuit was filed on May 16, 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California — Case Number 3:22-cv-02900.