Anti-Wireless Activist Loses Lawsuit Claiming Wi-Fi Signals Made Him Homeless
An American activist who campaigns against wireless networks claiming they cause illnesses has lost a lawsuit against his neighbour after suing him for distress caused by his Wi-Fi router.
In early 2010 Arthur Firstenberg, a well-known anti-wireless activist sued his neighbour, Raphaela Monribot for US$1 million dollars for "injuries, illness, pain and suffering" and another $430,000 for loss in value of his home after he claimed that he had been made homeless by the wireless network in his neighbours property.
New Mexico District Judge Sarah Singleton has however ruled that "studies have failed to provide clear support for a causal relationship between electromagnetic fields and complaints of EMS."
Judge Singleton relied extensively on the position of the World Health Organization, which concluded that "well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms do not seem to be correlated with EMF exposure… these symptoms may be due to pre-existing psychiatric conditions as well as stress reactions as a result of worrying about believed EMF health effects, rather than EMF exposure."
Firstenberg's claims were hampered by his refusal to be tested by experts proposed by the defendant, a trait that is not uncommon amongst anti-wireless activists. As he refused to be tested for electromagnetic hypersensitivity, the court ruled that he was in turn blocked from submitting evidence from his own personal tests.
Monribot's attorneys, Joseph Romero and Christopher Graeser, have asserted all along that Firstenberg's symptoms were related to a psychological disorder and other health problems. The Court has agreed. While Mr. Firstenberg may believe his claim, the science was not on his side.
Monribot's attorneys said that they are happy that the Court elevated science and common sense over paranoia and ignorance, adding that people are entitled to believe what they wish. However, if they want to sue their neighbor for $1 million, they need to have reliable scientific evidence on their side. Firstenberg did not.
The court technically ruled that in the absense of supporting evidence for EMS sensitiviy provided by Firstenberg, then a summary judgement dismissing the case was appropriate.