Santa Fe man sues neighbor whose gadgets irritate his 'electromagnetic allergies'
There are frivolous lawsuits and then there are seemingly reasonable -- but still frivolous -- lawsuits. A Santa Fe man has filed a $500,00+ lawsuit against a neighbor over radio waves from her iPhone and wireless network.
Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 04:24 PM
Wi-Fi, cell phones, laptops, and other wireless devices sure do make life a lot easier … unless of course you have “electromagnetic allergies”, in which case such devices make life a living hell.
It sure is for one Santa Fe man.
Via Yahoo! News, The Huffington Post reports that Arthur Firstenberg is suing his former chef-turned-neighbor, Raphaela Monribot, because she refuses to turn off her gadgets. The Santa Fe Reporter says, “Firstenberg claims that the low-level electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phones and other modern gadgets makes him, and others ‘sensitive’ to radio waves, suffer terribly. The side effects of exposure, he believes, include ‘nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, severe headaches and body aches, crippling joint pains, insomnia, impaired vision, impaired muscular control’ and other ailments, some potentially deadly.”
What Firstenberg suffers from is, supposedly, a legitimate condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS). Firstenberg first started experiencing the symptoms of EMS when he was in college in the 1980s. Since then he has been a vocal and vigilant opponent of public wireless systems … and he’s not alone.
He’s part of a group of Santa Fe residents who are taking legal action to remove all Wi-Fi hotspots from public venues because the claim the wireless radio waves irritate their “electromagnetic allergies.” The Yahoo! News story says, “To add merit to their case, they are classifying their ‘allergy’ or ‘sensitivity’ as a disability and are claiming the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability.”
According to the SF Reporter story, Firstenberg wants a judge to stop his neighbor from using her iPhone, wireless Internet, and laptop charger, as well as award him $530,000 in damages, including $100,000 for pain and suffering. He claims that Monribot’s use of these electronic devices has forced him from his home.
(I wonder what effect all of those news vans and video cameras from the press coverage he’s getting are affecting him?)