John Kiel Patterson, an American, is suing Apple in the United States, claiming that the iPod produces excessive noise levels and causes hearing damage.
Patterson from Louisiana filed his lawsuit on behalf of himself and other iPod consumers.
In the US iPods produce sound levels up to 115 dB. Patterson demands compensation for the damage this may cause him, better warnings of the dangers to listeners hearing, and upgrades in iPod programming to make the devices safer.
In the lawsuit Patterson claims that iPod players are inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss.
Other personal music players dangerous, too
Deanna Meinke, an audiology professor at the University of Northern Colorado cautions atseattlepi.com that other personal music players are equally dangerous.
"We have numerous products in the marketplace that have the potential to damage hearing. The risk is there but the risk lies with the user and where they set the volume,” she said.
Each iPod in the US is shipped with a warning that cautions "permanent hearing loss may occur if earphones or headphones are used at high volume."
In Europe iPods may produce maximum noise levels of 100dB. Apple was forced to pull the iPod from store shelves in France and upgrade software on the device to limit sound, but has not followed suit in the United States, according to the complaint.
There is no word about whether or not Patterson has suffered any hearing loss from using his iPod.
Sources: news.findlaw.com, January 31 2006, seattlepi.com, February 1, 2006 and www.computerwoche.de, February 3, 2006.
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