Everyone on my mother’s side of the family eventually loses some of his or her hearing. I’m not quite 50, but it’s already happening to me. Add to that the fact that I played bass guitar in a band when I was a teenager, and have listened to a lot of loud music over the years (still do), and there you have it: partial hearing loss caused by genes and knowingly questionable behavior on my part. (I say “questionable” rather than “stupid” because I’d probably make the same trade again.)
Enter one John Kiel Patterson of Louisiana, who is suing Apple because he can turn his iPod up wicked loud. Reports the Associated Press:
Patterson does not know if the device has damaged his hearing, said his attorney, Steve W. Berman, of Seattle. But that’s beside the point of the lawsuit, which takes issue with the potential the iPod has to cause irreparable hearing loss, Berman said.
“He’s bought a product which is not safe to use as currently sold on the market,” Berman said. “He’s paying for a product that’s defective, and the law is pretty clear that if someone sold you a defective product they have a duty to repair it.”
Normally I think of the phrase “tort reform” as nothing more than a cynical slogan wielded by lawyer-bashing politicians. But this is ludicrous. Didn’t Patterson ever listen to what his mother told him?