Berkeley cell phone ordinance wins again!

The city of Berkeley won against the powerful CTIA, the wireless industry association who appealed Berkeley’s ordinance which requires cellphone retailers to provide customers with this notice:

“To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radiofrequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”

The appeal was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges determined that “there was no irreparable harm based on the First Amendment or preemption, that the balance of equities tipped in Berkeley’s favor, that the ordinance was in the public interest, and that an injunction would harm that interest.”

More information about the ordinance and the lawsuit here: http://www.saferemr.com/2014/11/berkeley-cell-phone-right-to-know.html

SMUD sued for negligence, public nuisance, and unfair business practices over utility smart meters

Books:gavelA lawsuit against Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has been filed in Superior Court of California.  The plaintiff, John Echols, alleges three causes: negligence, public nuisance, and unfair business practices related to the forced installation of utility smart meters.

Mr. Echols refused to allow the smart meter on his residence and refused to join the opt out program due to SMUD’s discriminatory fees.  He declined having a smart meter because of the dangers of pulsed radiation that smart meters emit, and the health risks to his family.

SMUD charged Echols the opt-out fees despite his argument that he never opted out, and he never opted in.  SMUD eventually forced a smart meter onto his home, followed by cutting off his power completely, during a Sacramento heat wave last summer (2013). His power was eventually restored, but without a meter and his bills were estimated.

The situation continued with legal complaints made by Echols which went unresolved at SMUD.  In December Echols filed the law suit against SMUD.  The court filing can be found here: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1114179096387-71/Echols+v+SMUD+Complaint.pdf

In 2012 SMUD board members mocked customers who did not want smart meters on their home, and laughed about how much they’d have to pay to opt-out. A SMUD director said, “The $166 upfront will convince them they can really afford a lot of tin foil hats” [laughter]…Another director says, “But they are already wearing them!” http://emfsafetynetwork.org/smud-smart-meter-shenanigans/

While the SMUD board was laughing all the way to the bank with federal stimulus funding for smart meters, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for a halt to wireless smart meters to protect public health. http://emfsafetynetwork.org/american-academy-of-environmental-medicine-calls-for-a-halt-to-wireless-smart-meters/

Jury awards Vermont couple $1million in cell tower lawsuit

Felix and OlgaA jury awarded a million dollars to Olga Julinska and Felix Kniazev in a big win against  Vermont Electric Power Corp  for building a communications tower right next to their mountain top property.

Julinska and Kniasev are artists who purchased the mountaintop home as much for its inspiring 360 degree view as for the privacy it afforded.  They said the jury verdict was a victory for themselves and every other Vermont resident bullied by an imminent domain process that takes property for public good without always compensating property owners fairly.  Read more. 

Class action lawsuit filed against BC Hydro smart meters

With the support and representation of the Citizens for Safe Technology (CST) Society & the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, a class action has been brought against BC Hydro by Salt Spring Island resident, Nomi Davis.

The action was commenced on July 25, 2013, through the filing of a Notice of Civil Claim with the B.C. Supreme Court registry in Vancouver.  Smart Meter Class Action Filed

David M. Aaron, counsel for the Plaintiff stated, “The lawsuit asserts that the home is a private domain where free choice and autonomy rule. It claims a right of control over environmental exposures generated from one’s own domestic dwelling; and it alleges that BC Hydro has unlawfully leveraged its monopoly powers to violate that right by coercively and deceptively imposing a smart meter on the Plaintiff and other members of the Class.”

Steve Satow, CST advisory board member said, “If BC Hydro has forced a smart meter on you, threatened to cut off your power or refused to provide you with power unless you accepted a smart meter, then you may fit within the Class of persons on behalf of whom this claim is brought.”

The lawsuit seeks relief, including an order that BC Hydro remove unwanted smart meters as well as a permanent injunction restraining BC Hydro from exacting payment in exchange for an opt out.

Sharon Noble, CST Director commented, “Freedom to control the possible carcinogens emitted from one’s own home is not a luxury, it is a right.  We will not stand by and let a government authority extort a payment in exchange for the preservation of our rights.

 “We want free choice,  free of charge – and we want it now.” -Sharon Noble, CST Director

In April 2013 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released a detailed report explaining its designation of smart meter and other radiofrequency emissions as a possible human cancer agent.

Nomi Davis is a Salt Spring Island yoga teacher on whom a smart meter was imposed in a deceptive and coercive fashion against the resistance of Davis and her supporters.

B.C. Hydro will have 21 days (from being served) to file its defence pleading (Response to Civil Claim) after which the Plaintiff will seek to have the action certified under the Class Proceedings Act.

Persons wishing to support or participate in the action may contact Citizens for Safe Technology.

Mass tort lawsuit filed over smart meter health injuries

gavel-judgementAttorneys David Kyle and Paul Overett have filed a mass tort lawsuit against two California utilities:  Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for health damages from exposure to smart meters, and or smart grid.  Also named in the lawsuit are smart meter installer companies, Corix and Wellington and smart meter manufacturers, Itron and Landis and Gyr, with possibly more defendants to be added as the lawsuit progresses.

Attorney David Kyle has previously won a small claims lawsuit against SCE over smart meter installation, and  settled with PG&E in a wrongful death suit involving an alleged smart meter fire.

Sixteen plaintiffs, ten SCE customers and six PG&E customers allege they suffered health effects ranging from headaches, insomnia, chronic fatigue, ringing in the ears, dizziness, heart palpitations, to heart attacks and medical implant interference from exposure to smart meters.

The suit alleges the defendants withheld important safety information associated with the use of smart meters as well as multiple violations of CA laws, including California Civil Code section 1710 which defines deceit as an untrue assertion or suppression of a fact so as to mislead.

Plaintiffs allege negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and deceit, and products liability.

Elizabeth Barris, organizer for the lawsuit invites customers from other California utilities, including municipally run utilities, whose health has been effected by smart meters or smart grid to join the lawsuit. Elizabeth can be contacted at 310-281-9639 or email: contact@thepeoplesinitiative.org

Copies of the filed complaints can be found at: http://www.citizensforaradiationfreecommunity.org

Video introduction to the lawsuit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vln-uuu_aI

BC HYDRO Cuts Power for Refusing a Smart Meter: CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT ANNOUNCED

Press release from our Canadian friends at CST:

BC Hydro has taken the draconian step of cutting off power to a customer who refused to accept a wireless smart meter.

Last May, a Hydro customer had a wireless smart meter installed on her home despite her refusal. This person suffers from electro-sensitivity and, as a consequence of the radiofrequency radiation emitted by the wireless smart meter, her health began to deteriorate.

Despite pleading for months with Hydro to remove the wireless meter and to re-install the analog meter; they refused. Finally, with her health in jeopardy, she ordered a non- radiating analog meter from a company in the US that provides calibrated, tested meters to utility companies. With the supervision of a certified electrician the analog was installed, and the wireless smart meter was returned to Hydro.

When Hydro advised that the analog was not approved by Canadian agencies, the customer located a Canadian analog meter that met all the requirements and then asked Hydro to install it. Hydro refused, ignored her health condition and insisted that she must accept a wireless smart meter or they would cut her power.

On April 17, 2013, Hydro followed through with its threats and cut off its supply of power to her home.

Hydro’s conduct constitutes a violation of our autonomy and our right to determine what potentially harmful emissions do or do not occur from within our own domestic environment; our right to be free from physical intrusion by the state.

Due to Hydro’s actions over the last 2 years, culminating with its cessation of service to a customer for refusing to allow the installation of a wireless smart meter, the Citizens for Safe Technology Society and the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters are filing a class action lawsuit.

We invite participation in the action, subject to Court approval. Further information on the class action and criteria to join can be found at:
www.citizensforsafetechnology.org and www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca

Injured by smart meters? Class action lawsuit forming

9/2015 UPDATE to this post. The video has been removed. The lawsuit was unsuccessful.

——–

In this video Jerry Day interviews Liz Barris about the upcoming class action lawsuit she’s coordinating against California utilities SCE and PG&E for health damages from smart meters. This lawsuit may be extended to other CA utility companies soon.

“Those industries, businesses and individuals who profit from wireless technologies, such as your power company, are suppressing information about the hazards of wireless technologies. They are attacking proponents of responsible wireless management and they are knowingly exposing the public to harm and damage hoping that the general public and the media will refuse to believe the obvious and proven connection between electromagnetic radiation and biological damage. Because of the wireless industry’s irresponsibility and wrongdoing, unfortunately, legal actions have become necessary.”

Lawsuit contact: Liz Barris   contact@thepeoplesinitiative.org website: http://citizensforaradiationfreecommunity.org

Italian Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can Cause Cancer

“A landmark court case has ruled there is a link between using a mobile phone and brain tumours, paving the way for a flood of legal actions.” UK Telegraph, Oct 19, 2012

Contrary to the denial of many heath agencies in the U.S. and in some other countries, the Italian Supreme Court has recognized a “causal” link between heavy mobile phone use and brain tumor risk in a worker’s compensation case.

According to a UK news source, Innocente Marcolini, 60, an Italian businessman, fell ill after using a handset at work for up to six hours every day for 12 years.  He now will be financially compensated.

Mr Marcolini said: “This is significant for very many people. I wanted this problem to become public because many people still do not know the risks. I was on the phone, usually the mobile, for at least five or six hours every day at work. I wanted it recognised that there was a link between my illness and the use of mobile and cordless phones…Parents need to know their children are at risk of this illness.”

The Italian courts dismissed research co-financed by the mobile phone industry due to concerns about conflict of interest. Instead, the courts relied on independent research conducted by Lennart Hardell and his colleagues in Sweden which showed consistent evidence of increased brain tumor risk associated with long term mobile phone use.

Last year, the Hardell research was heavily relied upon by 31 experts convened by the World Health Organization who classified radiofrequency energy, including cell phone radiation, as “possibly carcinogenic” in humans.

The evidence of harm from cell phone radiation has been increasing so it is only a matter of time before lawsuits filed in U.S. courts by cell phone radiation victims will be successful. The Insurance industry will not provide product liability insurance due to concerns that juries will find that the Telecom industry has behaved much like the Tobacco and Asbestos industries. So the Telecom industry could be faced with paying huge damages to individuals and governments.

Although 12 nations and the European Union have issued precautionary health warnings regarding mobile phone use, the U.S. has been in denial. The Telecom industry has blocked numerous attempts to pass cell phone warning legislation at the Federal, state, and city level. The industry even refused to support a bill in the California legislature by Senator Mark Leno that would simply remind consumers to read the safety information that is currently printed in their cell phone user manuals.

Only one city has been able to overcome intense lobbying by the Telecom industry. San Francisco adopted cell phone “right to know” legislation two years ago, but the Telecom industry (i.e., CTIA-The Wireless Association) blocked implementation of this law by filing a lawsuit claiming that the court-approved fact sheet violates the industry’s First Amendment rights. The CTIA also moved its annual conference from San Francisco to punish the city.

Since there are now more than 330 million cell phone subscribers in the U.S., an annual fee of 50 cents on each cell phone would generate sufficient resources to fund high quality, independent research that could promote safer technology development and fund a community education program about safer cell phone use.

For more information on the Italian Supreme Court ruling see:
Mobile phones can cause brain tumours, court rules.

Thanks to Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley for the press release on this issue.