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This One is For the Birds

No wonder lawyers get a bad name.  A case out of the 9th Cir. shows just how far some people are willing to go to make their case (or a buck ).  Plaintiffs Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner apparently filed a  complaint claiming that the Apple iPod player was defective because it poses an unreasonable risk of noise-induced hearing loss to its users.  The complaint was styled as a class action, with the plaintiffs seeking to represent a statewide group of iPod consumers, arguing that the device failed to live up to certain implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose because it came with stock ear buds, no noise isolating or cancelling properties, and lacked any volume meter informing users that certain levels of listening were dangerous.  Stunningly, the plaintiffs had not suffered any personal injury as a result of the alleged breaches, but rather argued these were modifications they wanted to see made.  In sustaining the lower court’s dismissal of the matter, the appellate court concluded that plaintiffs failed to allege how the absence of their suggested changes caused any user an injury. The plaintiffs do not allege the iPods failed to do anything they were designed to do nor do they allege that they, or any others, have suffered or are substantially certain to suffer inevitable hearing loss or other injury from iPod use.  What will they think of next?

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