Motorola sued over potential Bluetooth hearing loss

California man is suing Motorola because its Bluetooth headsets don't warn of potential hearing loss danger.

A California man is suing Motorola, claiming that it failed to warn consumers that using its Bluetooth headsets at high volume for long periods of time could be dangerous.

Martin Alpert filed a suit seeking class action status earlier this month. According to reports from Crain's and others, the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that Motorola had "actual and constructive knowledge" that its headsets "posed a serious risk of harm to consumers from noise-indiced hearing loss during the headsets' normal and intended use." The complaint states that Alpert "suffered injury," as a result of Motorola's "conduct," but it does not detail the nature of the damages.

Motorola Bluetooth headset

Apparently, listening to anything above 85 decibels for longer than eight hours is bad for your hearing. At full volume, Motorola's H700 headset was tested at 82 to 106 decibels, according to a study by the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association cited in the suit. The lawsuit also contends that there's no way for consumers to easily tell exactly how many decibles are pumping out of the headset, so Motorola should stop selling 12 Bluetooth models until there is.

The HS830, H3, H300, H500, H605, H700, HS805, HS815, HS820, HS850, HT820 and N136 are advertised with promises of long talk time, the complaint says, without any accompanying indication that when turned up to full volume, using them for 10 hours at a time is a health hazard.

Mr. Alpert wants the money back that he spent on his headset, a warning label, and a noise meter to ensure this never happens to anyone. Maybe he really does have the good of consumers in mind. Or maybe he's just another one of those sue-happy Americans.

(Photo: Motorola)

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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