To Hear Rash Of Cell Phone Suits
Journalist: Graeme Wearden
November 14, 2001
A lawsuit is due to be filed in America on Wednesday alleging that a 34-year
old man's brain cancer was caused by mobile phone use. The case is likely to
be followed by dozens more in coming weeks.Lawyers acting on behalf of
Michael Murray, a former Motorola worker, are seeking both compensation and
punitive damages. The personal injury case will be heard at the District of
Columbia Superior Court, and will seek to prove that mobile phones cause
brain tumors--a claim consistently denied by the mobile industry.
Attorney Mayer Morganroth has confirmed to reporters that this case will be
filed on Wednesday, adding that "others will be filed in the very near
A spokesman for Motorola's offices has said that there is no proof that
mobile phone use causes adverse health effects, and that Motorola only knew
that Murray was pursuing a "worker's compensation claim" against the
A flurry of similar cases is expected to hit the U.S. courts in the coming
weeks, according to news Web site RCR Wireless News. Government bodies and
regulators will both be targeted in lawsuits that will claim they have acted
negligently by not promoting devices that could reduce exposure to emissions
from mobile phones.It emerged this summer that mobile phone manufacturers
have registered patents for technology that could reduce the emissions a
user was exposed to. One patent noted concerns that continuous exposure to
radio frequency radiation could lead to "a development of malignant tumors."
The existence of such patents is likely to be used in legal arguments in an
attempt to prove that handset manufacturers were aware of a risk. Motorola
has denied that this interpretation is correct,
insisting that such technology was being developed with a view to improving
the efficiency--and thus increasing the battery life--of a phone by cutting
the amount of electro-magnetic radiation it released when transmitting.
A number of class action lawsuits are already underway in the United States.
Several studies have found no link between mobile use and adverse health
effects such as brain cancer. Others have been unable to rule out such a
link. One even suggested that mobile use could be linked to an increased
risk of eye cancer.