By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., childrenshealthdefense.org, 16 March 2023
Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and eight nonprofits on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Apple.
The plaintiffs are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) cellphone radiation guidelines preempt state safety and health laws.
According to the plaintiffs, this question has been “left unresolved for more than a decade” — allowing telecommunication companies like Apple to avoid facing personal injury claims from cellphone users who allege the company violated state health and safety law by failing to inform consumers of the health risks associated with the radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by the phones.
“The telecom equipment industry, just like Big Pharma, thinks it should be free to inflict great harm on individuals and then force taxpayers and the rest of society to bear the cost,” said Mary Holland, Children’s Health Defense president and general counsel.
Holland, who also is the counsel of record for the amicus brief, said telecom companies like Apple are “horrified” at the thought of facing a jury that might hold them accountable for their negligence — “the historical means by which giant corporations have been constrained into responsible behavior.”
W. Scott McCollough — lead litigator on behalf of CHD’s electromagnetic radiation (EMR)-related legal work and a co-author of CHD’s brief — said the Supreme Court should “reject the wireless companies’ plea for immunity and allow justice to be served through the jury system, just like our founders intended.”
An amicus brief is filed by non-parties to a litigation to provide information that has bearing on the issues and to assist the court in reaching the correct decision. It comes from the Latin words amicus curiae, which means “friend of the court.”
Appeals court decision ‘threatens to radically empower courts and federal agencies to displace state law’
The plaintiffs in Andrew Cohen et al. v. Apple Inc., et al sued Apple in October 2020, alleging Apple’s iPhone emitted RF radiation that regularly exceeded the federal exposure limit and that Apple violated state health and safety law by failing to warn consumers about the health and safety risks of holding the device close to the body.
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