Injured by smart meters? Class action lawsuit forming

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

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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.”

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.

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

KPFA interview – Smart Meter Lawsuit

Yesterday on KPFA 94.1 Layna Berman, host of Your Own Health and Fitness talks with EMF Safety Network director Sandi Maurer about Smart Meters, and the legal action against the utilities and regulators in California.  Covered is both a review of the basic Smart Meter problems and complaints, and some new information about how the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and PG&E have never addressed or resolved the serious complaints, but only offered an opt-out with penalty fees.

There is an intro by Layna Berman, followed by commentary by Dr. Jeff Fawcett, followed by the Smart Meter discussion. You can access the show at: http://www.yourownhealthandfitness.org/Sage/20120828.mp3

We are suing the CPUC!

Cartoon by Jim Heddle EON

On June 7th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) denied the EMF Safety Network Rehearing Request on the grounds that, “the evidence does not support re-opening a review of Smart Meters.” Because the Rehearing Request is denied we can now sue the CPUC for failing to address serious Smart Meter issues, including health and safety impacts, and FCC compliance.

The CPUC has buried it’s head in the sand!

The CPUC rubber stamped PG&E claims of Smart Meter safety!

Although no new evidence can be added to the lawsuit in Appeals court, this lawsuit is important because it could force the CPUC to address the issues it has been ignoring.

The CPUC has NEVER addressed the health and safety impacts of Smart Meters.  They’ve only provided an opt out with a penalty!

We need to raise $25,000 for legal costs ASAP!  Attorneys James Hobson and Joshua Nelson of Best, Best and Krieger will represent us in the California First Court of Appeals. The lawsuit will be filed by the July 11 deadline.

If every customer on PG&E’s delay list would donate 15 cents, we’d have it covered! Considering we probably won’t reach those 177,000 people, if people donate $10-$100 this will help! Please give whatever amount you can!

Three ways to donate:

1. Donate online– click on the Donate button. (You do not need a Paypal account to donate! See the ‘Don’t have a PayPal account?’ section to the left of login box and click on link to use your credit card.)

2. Send a check payable to EMF Safety Network PO Box 1016, Sebastopol CA 95473

3. If you are donating $100 or more and want a tax deduction make your check payable to EON and mail to EMF Safety Network PO Box 1016, Sebastopol CA 95473.  Online donations will not be tax deductible.

The results of suing the CPUC, if we win, will be that the Court will mandate the CPUC to address our original EMF Safety Network Application which includes:

  • Re-opening both of the Smart Meter proceedings (D.06-07-027 and D.09-03-026)
  • Evidentiary hearings on radiation health, environmental, and safety impacts
  • Review of actual Smart Meter program performance
  • An independently prepared RF Emissions Study

Your contributions will enable us to step up and challenge the CPUC!!

Thanks to all of you who’ve already given to this cause. Legal costs are ongoing, as we are still participating in the CPUC opt-out proceeding, so any amount you can contribute is a HUGE help!

We believe that whatever the CPUC rules for PG&E, they will eventually apply to other utilities! So, please support our efforts, even if you are a customer of another California utility!

Inching towards justice!  THANKS TO ALL YOUR EFFORTS!

Sandi Maurer

EMF Safety Network files lawsuit against Sebastopol 4G cell tower


On January 11, the EMF Safety Network filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against the City of Sebastopol, Verizon, and Crown Castle alleging the City’s decision to approve a 4G cell tower expansion was in violation of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  According to the Sebastopol attorney, the city has a “hold harmless” clause in their contract with Verizon which requires Verizon to pay for all litigation costs related to the cell tower.

Sebastopol is located adjacent to an internationally recognized wetlands preserve, the Laguna De Santa Rosa.  The City filed a CEQA exemption for the project stating there would be “negligible or no expansion of use”, calling it a “minor alteration.”  EMF Safety Network lawyer Rose Zoia argued their exemption claims were false.  The addition of 3 and 4 G panels to the cell tower will add significant radio frequency (RF) exposure to the downtown area and extend nine miles into the Laguna.

Sebastopol’s Telecommunications Ordinance states, “ No telecommunications facility shall be sited such that its presence threatens the health and safety of migratory birds.”

An environmental study by A. Balmori, Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife. states,

“Electromagnetic radiation is a form of environmental pollution which may hurt wildlife.”

“Phone masts located in their living areas are irradiating continuously some species that could suffer long-term effects, like reduction of their natural defenses, deterioration of their health, problems in reproduction and reduction of their useful territory through habitat deterioration.  Electromagnetic radiation can exert an aversive behavioral response in rats, bats and birds such as sparrows. Therefore microwave and radiofrequency pollution constitutes a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants living near phone masts.”

A second study, Bioassay for assessing cell stress in the vicinity of radio-frequency irradiating antennas. assesses cell stress in water plants from RF. Conclusion excerpt: “The present work makes a unique biological connection between exposure to RF-EMF and real biological stress in living cells.”

Verizon reps swagger into town with their cookie cutter safety data, and hired guns making broad claims of FCC safety.  Cities are caught in a legal trap between mega-rich wireless industry, educated residents armed with evidence of environmental harm and the city’s local ordinances which call for protecting the public and environmental health.  The 1996  Telecommunications Act makes it illegal to deny a cell tower based on health impacts!

The Sebastopol City Council voted 2-2 to deny the cell tower expansion, however because it was a tie, the original planning commission decision to approve the 4G network was upheld.  Faced with the cost of a lawsuit from Verizon for denying the tower- or a lawsuit from local citizens which Verizon has to pay, the vote was likely  financially driven.