Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of iPod Noise Lawsuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco announced its decision to uphold a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit against Apple that alleged the iPod posed an unreasonable risk of hearing loss for its users. The suit was first launched in early 2006, and was dismissed in 2008. Today's ruling upholds that dismissal.

Reuters reported that a three-judge panel of the 9-member court also upheld the lower court's dismissal of claims that Apple was violating California's unfair competition law.

At the heart of the dismissal and the 9th Circuit's upholding of that dismissal is that the plaintiffs didn't claim damage inflicted on them, nor did they claim that Apple's product, the earbud specifically, was failing to do anything it claimed to do.

"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," Senior Judge David Thompson wrote. "At most, the plaintiffs plead a potential risk of hearing loss not to themselves, but to other unidentified iPod users."

The announcement came shortly before the close of stock markets, where Apple ended the day higher. Shares in the stock closed at US$211.64, a gain of 2.54 (+1.21%), on moderately light volume of 14.7 million shares trading hands.