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A family in the US are suing Apple after claiming a pair of AirPods caused their son’s eardrums to burst.
According to the lawsuit filed on Monday, May 16, the incident unfolded in 2020 when the boy, then 12, was watching Netflix on his iPhone while wearing his AirPods Pro.
Although he had the headphones at a low volume, the suit states that an Amber Alert played through without warning at an ‘ear shattering’ sound level.
Texan parents Carlos Gordoa and Ariani Reyes said it was so loud that it ruptured the eardrum of their son, who is identified in court documents as B.G.
As a result, they said he now suffers from permanent hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness, and requires a hearing aid.
Apple outlines how users can receive emergency, government, and public safety alerts on their iPhone and Apple Watch, including Amber Alerts about missing and abducted children in America.
According to its website, “By default, Government Alerts are turned on for your device. When you receive a government alert, you hear a special sound that's similar to an alarm,” adding instructions on how to turn these notifications off.
However, the family are suing the tech giant on the grounds of their claims that it was aware AirPods played these alerts at dangerously high levels, highlighting a number of online complaints about the issue dating back to 2019.
Earlier this year, one person wrote on Twitter, “Man that amber alert blew tf outta me, b***h was loud af in my airpod,” while another quipped, “Seriously can y’all create an airpod warning for the amber alert!”
In the case of B.G., who's now 14, the lawsuit states the sound ‘went off suddenly, and without warning, at a volume that tore apart B.G.’s ear drum, damaged his cochlea, and caused significant injuries to B.G.’s hearing’.
Seriously can y’all create an airpod warning for the amber alert!— Neal (@ItzNeal_) February 4, 2022
Gordoa and Reyes’ lawyer, Tej Paranjpe of PMR Law, said in a statement: "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.”
UNILAD has contacted Apple for comment.
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