Apple Corps has filed a new lawsuit alleging that a child lost hearing in one ear after playing a loud amber alert through a set of AirPods Pro.
The lawsuit, reported by law360 and filed in federal court in California on Monday, goes against Apple and its AirPods manufacturer’s “defective” design because earbuds do not automatically lower the alert amount. It further alleges that Apple did not warn users about the dangers of hearing loss when using headphones.
The 12-year-old Texas resident was named as the only BG in the case, alleging that he suffered serious damage in 2020 when an amber alert came through AirPods Pro. He was watching a movie on Netflix and listening to audio through headphones. The warning said her eardrums were “torn”, the lawsuit claims, and her cochlea was damaged. Since then he has complained of vertigo, tinnitus and nausea and has to wear hearing aids.
Amber Warning is a notice issued in response to a child abduction. (The name means “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response.”) Some AirPod owners have complained that these are too noisy, and they increase the volume regardless of the levels users have set for their current activity.
This issue has led some users to turn off alerts, which can be done by going to Settings> Notifications and tapping the relevant toggle below. This rather defeats the purpose of caution, of course, but may be better than the alternative.
The lawsuit seeks damages from Apple, which will “punish the defendants for their conduct and … prevent other technology companies from engaging in such misconduct in the future.”