By M. Robert Blanchard
October 26th, 2012 7:00am
On Monday, an Italian court ruled that a man’s brain tumor may be related to the use of his cell phone. The evidence in the case showed he used the cellphone for up to six hours a day for over 12 years. While many U.S. courts, sporting corporate-appointed judges, have refused to see the link between cellphone usage and cancer, this recent ruling is from the highest court in the world so far to rule on the issue. It is not just a matter of there being more science available for the analysis, as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States did rule back in 2005 that Nokia Corporation and others could be sued for hiding the dangers of cellphone radiation from consumers. The World Health Organization has classified cell phone radiation as a potential carcinogen.
Unfortunately, one possible case of brain cancer caused by cell phone usage would now be too late to file, but would have involved famed attorney Johnnie Cochran. As explained by Florida trial lawyer Fred Levin, “We worked with Johnnie for years and I knew him personally. He always had a cell phone in his hand and up to his head. We really thought that his brain tumor was caused by his use of that phone, but at that time there was simply nothing we could do about it.”
The recent ruling in the Italian Supreme Court backed-up a lower court’s finding, which found that the scientific evidence presented a viable case. While some cellphone radiation cases have been filed in United States, they will have a tough amount of litigation to overcome, given that the defendants are some of the world’s largest corporations, like Motorola and Verizon. “We never worried about the size of the defendants, we deal with that all the time. We just knew how the courts were ruling on the scientific causation issues at that time. I hope now the tide will turn in favor of consumers,” Levin also commented.
M. Robert Blanchard is a former prosecuting attorney, trail lawyer and writer living in Gulf Breeze, FL.