Apple is being sued by a family in Texas who claims that their 12-year-old boy now suffers from permanent hearing loss and tinnitus after an “ear-shattering” Amber Alert played through his AirPod wireless earbuds and ruptured his right eardrum while he was watching Netflix. Carlos Gordoa and Ariani Reyes, and their son, identified as B.G. in the lawsuit filed Monday in San Jose, California, federal court, are accusing Apple of gross negligence and fraud, alleging that the company’s AirPods are defective products that play alerts at dangerous volumes regardless of what the user has set the volume at. Apple’s family of AirPod devices is in its third generation and includes a Pro model, which features active noise cancellation for “immersive sound” and “magic like you’ve never heard.”
“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,” PMR Law’s Tej Paranjpe, a lawyer for the family, said in a statement.
The family says an Amber Alert, which notifies users about missing and abducted children, abruptly produced an “ear shattering” sound level that ruptured B.G.’s eardrum and damaged his inner ear. As a result, B.G. has permanent hearing loss and tinnitus, suffers from dizziness and needs to wear a hearing aid, according to the lawsuit.
The family said Apple was aware that its AirPods played extremely loud alerts from online complaints going back to 2019 from users who noted that AirPods did not adjust the alert volume to match that of the media they were playing.