Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Supreme Court Sends Spurious Cell Phone Suits Packing

On October 3, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the Third Circuit's decision in Farina v. Nokia (2011). By denying to hear the case, the Supreme Court leaves standing the Third Circuit's rejection of various state law-based claims raised against wireless manufacturers and carriers. Farina v. Nokia is multi-state class action lawsuit based on allegations that wireless devices contain unsafe levels of radiation. The Third Circuit ruled that the FCC's regulations of radio frequency (RF) radiation levels in wireless devices preempt the state law claims. Those state claims conflict with the purposes of the FCC's regulations in ensuring an efficient nationwide wireless service subject to uniform standards and the agency's balancing of those concerns with public health and safety.

As I mentioned in a July blog post, the evidence continues to contradict the far-fetched claims of those who say that cell phones operating within the FCC's current RF standards are somehow unsafe. But as Farina v. Nokia reaffirms, the FCC is the proper place to bring those types of concerns, not state courts or city councils.