Cellphone health lawsuit to go ahead

The legal firm, Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran has said that a federal judge in Maryland ruled this week that a class action complaint challenging the cell phone industry's failure to disclose safety issues relating to certain phones sold to consumers in Washington, D.C. and Maryland should be remanded to the D.C. Superior Court in which it was originally filed. The Honorable Catherine C. Blake of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland granted the plaintiff's motion for remand, thereby authorizing the case to proceed in state court.

The complaint, which was originally filed in September, 2002, charges cell phone manufacturers Audiovox, Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Kyocera and Samsung with selling cell phones to consumers without disclosing pertinent safety information.

The allegations in the complaint concentrate on defendants' "decision whether or not to communicate to the consumer information regarding the important safety debate raging within the industry, (many details of which are known only to industry insiders)."

The complaint also challenges defendants' failure to disclose the true meaning of their "Specific Absorption Rate" levels for their cell phones.

The complaint alleges that such misrepresentations and omissions violate state consumer fraud laws and that the proper disclosures "would allow consumers to decide for themselves" whether the safety debate warrants a consumer's modification of their cell phone usage and/or model choice.

The complaint is brought on behalf of a class of all persons who purchased a wireless handheld telephone in Maryland or the District of Columbia, between January 1, 1989 and the present, that was manufactured by one of the defendants.



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