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Man Sues Apple Over Porn Addiction

Do you remember the woman who sued McDonald’s  in 1994? Stella Liebeck, 79, ordered coffee from the giant fast food chain then spilled it in her lap while she was attempting to mix in the cream and sugar. The burn from temperature of the coffee, which McDonald’s required each restaurant to hold at 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, resulted in an eight-day stint at the hospital and skin grafting procedures. Liebeck’s attorneys claimed McDonald’s coffee was “defective,” but McDonald’s refused to settle, and the case went to trial. As myth and history repeatedly announce, Goliath fell to David.

The public however, wasn’t necessarily on the side of David in that case. Well over $2 million seemed like an inordinate payout to a lot of people, while others thought McDonald’s deserved to pay—many people, especially children and the elderly could easily be harmed without better precautions. The temperatures could and had caused third-degree burns. But lobbying and legislation around tort reform—legal claims and damages permitted in civil suits—followed as a result of the case and continue today, which brings us to a new case.

Fifty Pages

Thirty-six year old former attorney Chris Sevier of Tennessee has found himself in a predicament. His wife has left with his son. In June, Sevier filed a 50-page complaint in federal court “seeking damages and injunctive relief” wherein he claimed that Apple was to blame for his family’s demise since the company’s devices made it possible for him to have unfettered access to Internet pornography. Due to the lack of restrictions on the part of the tech giant, Sevier became a porn addict. Sevier, who was arrested for stalking country music star John Rich, goes further to demand that Apple install a “safe-mode” in all of its devices that would block access to porn.

In the complaint, riddled with typos and grammatical errors, Sevier writes that Apple is further liable for the demise of his quality of life because of the way pornography made his expectations unrealistic. He writes, “The Plaintiff began desiring younger, more beautiful girls featured in porn videos than his wife, who was no longer 21 …the Plaintiff could no longer tell the difference between Internet pornography and tangible intercourse due to the content he accessed through the Apple products.”

Accidental Addiction, Not My Fault

Sevier claims that coming upon Web pornography was an accident; he says he mistyped “Facebook.com.” After accidentally happening upon the images of porn, he writes essentially that he could not help himself, that these “images appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male [leading] to an unwanted addiction with adverse consequences.”

This last assertion may perhaps be the easiest for Apple’s attorneys to dismantle. Hundreds of thousands of people access the Internet, and in fact, thousands upon thousands purchase Apple’s devices, and yet how many of them can be said to be addicted to pornography? People drink wine, beer, and other alcohol and yet, they do not become alcoholics. Others engage in compulsive eating at Thanksgiving or a one-night stand with a stranger (maybe several) and still, no “unwanted addiction” surfaces. What Sevier seems to be saying through his demand that Apple install a block on pornography—one which no consumer could disable without first calling Apple—is that no person is capable of exercising self-control nor should they be allowed to attempt it. The compulsive urges that thread and layer the problem of addiction are completely out of the hands of the addict himself and are, in fact, someone else’s fault.

What any recovering person will tell you is that the recognition of accountability, true accountability, saying, “I alone am responsible for what I have done, for the consequences my urges have wrought, and for any way that I might be able to amend those consequences from here forward,” is necessary for real change. Otherwise, no “safe-mode” will ever be able to block you from getting your fix. Your quality of life may very well have eroded, Mr. Sevier, but only you can commence its repair.

This is no case of hot coffee. The David and Goliath in this story are the addict voice inside (Goliath) and the small voice, too far away, too long pushed down. It is struggling to find purchase on the stony soil of a mind that always clangs too loudly with denial and the need for the wrong thing. The words “Wake up. Make this right. Do it now,” will ring just loud enough to hear against the banging.

 

There is still hope.

Our licensed addiction experts can help. Call us today for a confidential assessment.

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