PORTLAND, OR–As readers will undoubtedly recall, a few months ago HearingHealthMatters.org joined about 50,000 other print, broadcast, and online media around the world in writing about the most reported—really over-reported—story of 2012 related to hearing.
What was it? The $9.32 million lawsuit brought by a concertgoer against the 18-year-old pop star Justin Bieber.
The plaintiff, Stacey Wilson Betts, of Wilsonville, OR, alleges that she suffered permanent hearing loss while attending a 2010 concert by the Canadian boy wonder in Portland with one of her five children. Her beef was not that the music was too loud, but rather that the shrill screams of the Bieber fans surrounded her wreaked havoc on her auditory system.
So why did she sue Bieber rather than the screamers? Well, as was explained in her suit filed last July 10 in U.S. District Court in Oregon, the singer intentionally provoked the audience to raise an ear-splitting din when he soared over their heads while riding in a heart-shaped metal gondola and lifting his arms.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
There’s been a recent development in the case. If you guessed that Bieber happily paid Betts the millions she asked for and offered similar payoffs to others whose hearing he has inadvertently damaged, you’d be wrong. In fact, his lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the case.
The motion argues that it’s not a performer’s responsibility to control how much noise the audience makes. Stay tuned for updates.
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