Another day, another lawsuit. Apple is being sued by the parents of a 12-year-old boy whose eardrums were supposedly ruptured by a loud Amber Alert on his AirPods, reports Law360 (you’ll have to register to read the entire article).
An Amber Alert or a child abduction emergency alert is a message distributed by a child abduction alert system to ask the public for help in finding abducted children. The system began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, TX, and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities soon set up their own AMBER plans as the idea was adopted across the nation.
The lawsuit accuses Apple of making “defective” AirPods that don’t automatically reduce the volume of alerts or equalize notification and alert volumes. What’s more, it accuses the tech giant of not warning customers about this “defect.”
The lawsuit claims that the loud Amber Alert “tore apart” the 12-year-old’s eardrum, damaged his cochlea, and caused injuries to his hearing. Damages are sought for him and his parents. More specifically, the lawsuit seeks “punitive damages in amounts that would punish Defendants for their conduct and which would deter other technology companies from engaging in such misconduct in the future.”