Radio Frequency Health Lawsuits
by JEFFREY SILVA * November 12, 2001
The litigation likely will be followed by a public-interest lawsuit that alleges federal regulatory agencies have failed to protect the nation’s 123 million wireless subscribers from radiation health risks. Those agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Communications Commission.
The lawsuits will be filed by a team that includes
Similar workers’ compensation claims have been filed in
At least four additional phone-cancer lawsuits also could be filed in D.C. Superior court by the end of this week or next week, according to a source close to the litigation. The source said more phone-cancer lawsuits would be filed in groups of five during the next six months.
All the lawsuits, which will name as defendants various carriers and manufacturers as well as the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association and the American National Standards Institute, are expected
to be filed in D.C. Superior Court. There is no cap on damages in the
Last year, Suder filed an $800 million lawsuit on behalf of Christopher Newman, a neurologist and a heavy cell-phone user who was diagnosed with brain cancer. The case, set for a key hearing in February that will focus on the use of scientific experts, was transferred to fellow
Angelos, who has won hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits against tobacco companies and asbestos manufacturers, is suing makers of audiotape erasing machines, lead paint companies and other firms. In addition, Angelos and other attorneys around the country are involved in five lawsuits aimed at forcing the wireless industry to provide
hands-free headsets with mobile phones and to compensate subscribers who already purchased such devices.
Class-action headset lawsuits initially were filed in five state courts before industry got the cases moved to federal courts. Last month, a federal judicial panel transferred all the headset cases to a
Other phone-cancer cases are pending in
settlement would fund the creation of a registry of wireless subscribers who believe they have been injured by cell-phone radiation.
Plaintiffs lawyers may have suffered a setback of sorts as a result of a recent editorial by five scientists in a leading Swedish newspaper that was highly critical of a study conducted by scientist Lennart Hardell. Hardell, who received a lot of media attention after publicizing an epidemiology study that found cell-phone users tended to get tumors on the side of the head where phones are used, is an expert in the Newman case and likely will serve in the same capacity in upcoming phone-cancer lawsuits. “This kind of interpretation seems bizarre in biological terms and is probably based on chance findings. … We think it is generally wrong to discuss pilot studies in the media, as the main study will, by definition, not have been concluded,” stated the scientists in Svenska Dagbladet/Brannpunkt.
For more information, contact:
Council on Wireless Technology Impacts
415 892-1863 (voice)
415 892-3108 (fax)