FCC Regs Don't Preempt iPhone Radiation Suit, 9th Circ. Told
Craig Clough, Law360, Dec 10, 2021
A proposed class alleging Apple's iPhones expose users to dangerous radiation urged the Ninth Circuit at a hearing Friday to overturn a lower court's findings that the claims are preempted by federal regulations, arguing congressional intent and an "unbroken line" of U.S. Supreme Court rulings clear the suit to move forward.
Matthew W.H. Wessler of Gupta Wessler PLLC, who represents the proposed class, told the three-judge panel during a remote video conference hearing that the plain text of the Communications Act of 1934 and Telecommunications Act of 1996 "make clear that [Congress] did not intend for any state law to be preempted in the context of ... regulation for cell phones, and you can see it in a number of different places."
Wessler also said an "unbroken line" of at least three high court rulings since 2000 underlined this interpretation of the two congressional acts and held that "safety standards, agency safety standards, regardless of context, operate as regulatory floors, and do not themselves preempt state common law claims that seek to impose a higher standard."