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Hardell Brain Cancer Study To Be Published, May Affect Newman Case
RCR Wireless News
Journalist: Jeffrey Silva
April 05, 2002

Lawyers for Christopher Newman in an $800 million brain-cancer lawsuit against the mobile-phone industry have notified the federal judge overseeing the case that an unpublished study attacked by defendants has been accepted for publication, a potentially major development that could change the course of the case.

Sources said an epidemiology study conducted by Dr. Lennart Hardell, who found a higher incidence of brain tumors on the sides of heads used by mobile-phone subscribers to make and receive calls, will be published in June by the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. Hardell is a key expert witness for Newman, who is represented by the law firm of high-powered Baltimore trial lawyer Peter Angelos.

At a February hearing in Baltimore federal court on the admissibility of scientific experts,industry lawyers made much of the fact that The Lancet, a prestigious scientific journal in the United Kingdom, had rejected Hardell's study.

The latest twist in the litigation comes as U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake nears a ruling on whether to let the Newman case go to trial. The case is being watched closely, since no mobile-phone cancer suit has succeeded, let alone reached a jury.

At least eight brain-cancer cases against the wireless industry are pending in courts around the country, most filed by a small group of lawyers in Maryland and Michigan. The lawyers plan to file another six to eight lawsuits against mobile-phone firms within the next two weeks.

On the regulatory front, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission plan shortly to launch a joint Web site on mobile-phone health and safety. The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, last year criticized the agencies for not doing enough to inform the public about wireless radiation health issues.

The government's new outreach effort comes just weeks after epidemiologist George Carlo unveiled a Web-based health registry that collects data from consumers who believe they've been injured from mobile-phone radiation. The registry has attracted significant interest, recording nearly 100,000 hits in the first two weeks.

Carlo, who managed a $28 million industry-funded research project that found genetic damage from low-level radiofrequency radiation, has become a thorn in the side of wireless firms and federal regulators as a result of his harsh criticism of their efforts to address the cancer controversy.

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