Plaintiff Drops Wireless Suit
RCR Wireless News
Journalist: Jeffrey Silva
January 21, 2004
District Judge Catherine Blake today approved a request to
drop a brain cancer suit filed by Atlanta’s Brian Barrett
against Nokia Corp. and others. Barrett, who died in November
2002, alleged mobile-phone use caused his brain tumor.
Barrett is the second plaintiff among the nine with
cancer lawsuits pending before Blake in Baltimore federal
court to withdraw health litigation.
In 2002, Blake
threw out an $800 million cancer suit against wireless
companies. A U.S. appeals court in Richmond, Va., last year
affirmed Blake’s decision. The same court will hear oral
argument next month in a separate challenge to another Blake
ruling that rejected five class action suits. The suits sought
to force wireless carriers to supply consumers with handsfree
devices to reduce any health risks from phone radiation. The
outcome of the headset appeal, which turns on jurisdiction,
could determine whether remaining brain-cancer suits remain in
Blake’s court or return to various state courts.
Government health officials here and overseas say
research does not point to dangers from mobile phones, but add
they cannot guarantee safety of wireless handsets until
further research is conducted.