Attend Justin Bieber concerts at your own risk. In addition to hearing music of a dubious quality, you may suffer irreparable hearing damage from the screaming fans.
An Oregon woman is suing Bieber, his record label, management, and concert venue after suffering from auditory ailments including severe tinnitus and hyperacusis from attending one of his concerts in Portland in July 2010, Courthouse News reported.
Stacey Wilson Betts, who is representing herself in the suit, is asking $9.23 million in medical expenses for the “permanent hearing disability in both ears,” pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.
Betts claims the damage to her ears occurred when Bieber performed from a “heart-shaped gondola” suspended over the audience and “created a wave-like effect of screaming by pointing into various sections of the arena. Then enticed the crowd into a frenzy of screams by continuously waving his arms in a quick and upward motion.” Betts claims that the metal gondola acted as a sound conductor that damaged her ears.
Tinnitus is marked by a high-pitched ringing in the ears and hyperacusis causes increased sensitivity to sound.
“I am an ordinary person who bought a service. I took my daughter to a pop concert. I had no reasonable way to anticipate the gondola could create a sound blast that would permanently damage my ears. Experience promoters, sound engineers, managers and artists are responsible to maintain safe decibels at all times during their events. Due to their negligence and my subsequent inability to protect myself, my quality of life has been permanently reduced in addition to the injury,” Betts stated in her claim.
Kevin Fetterplace of Mojo Working, a marketing company for the entertainment technology industry, said that he has been running concerts for years, and has little faith in the Betts’ case.
“If the sound was louder (a lot are) than the limit that all venues must adhere to, then she may have a case, but at a concert like this it is more likely to be the ambient noise (fans etc) that would be damaging, and she opens herself up to this by buying a ticket,” Fetterplace said. “I worked on a Backstreet Boys tour where the audience was louder than the band and they were 140 dab. I think she’ll fail in her attempt.”