• 03 NOV 05
    • 0

    Cell phone class action cases to proceed

    From Milt Bowling: “The insurance industry is watching this closely.”

    Canadian underwriter.ca: Canada’s Insurance and Risk Magazine

    Wireless phone companies deal with radiation-related cases

    Five class-action lawsuits, originally introduced and dismissed in 2004, against wireless telephone companies over radiation emissions will be able to go forward, after the U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by the companies.

    The lawsuits are seeking money for wireless users to buy a headset or reimburse those who had already had purchased one.

    The appeal, made by two-dozen defendant manufacturers such as Motorola, Nokia, Nextel Communications, Sprint and Cingular Wireless, challenging the lawsuit which claimed these companies were aware but covered up risks associated to wireless phone is based on the fact that the companies say their handsets are in compliance with federal regulations. The US Federal Communications Commission Federal Communications Commission must approve any device that sends out frequency radiation that is emitted by wireless phones as exposure to high levels can cause adverse health effects from headaches to tumors according to health advocates. The impact of low level radiation exposure is however less clear.

    The U.S. government however reports that scientific evidence has yet to indicate instances of wireless phone related health problems.
    If the lawsuits are won, the wireless industry may have to begin to adhere to numerous different emissions requirements imposed by states.

    In their appeal to the high court the companies said, “this court’s intervention is necessary to prevent the balkanisation of network standards … which will, if uncorrected, undermine the ability of consumers to use an FCC-approved wireless telephone in every state of the union.”

    Currently, one lawsuit is set to commence in federal court whereas the other four lawsuits will be heard in state court.

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