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Second Cancer Plaintiff Drops Wireless Suit
RCR Wireless News
Journalist: Jeffrey Silva
January 21, 2004

U.S. 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.