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Mobile telephone industry target of lawsuits - paper (Reuters Securities)...The lawsuits allege links between cell-phone use and an increased risk of brain damage, genetic irregularities and other health problems,......Angelos is also helping with another lawsuit against the wireless industry in which a Baltimore neurologist claimed that his use of cell phones caused a malignant brain tumor....- Apr 20 2:20 AM ET


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Website: http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/010420/n20124064.html

Posted on: 04/20/2001

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Friday April 20, 2:20 am Eastern Time

Mobile telephone industry target of lawsuits - paper

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - Some of the biggest names in the mobile telephone industry are named as defendants in two class action lawsuits alleging links between cell phones and possible health risks, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The lawsuits, filed Thursday in state courts in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, accuse the companies of knowingly marketing products that subject customers to harmful radiation, the Post said.

Among those named in the lawsuits filed by high-profile Baltimore lawyer Peter Angelos are telephone carriers Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ - news), Sprint PCS (NYSE:PCS - news) and Nextel Communications (NasdaqNM:NXTL - news), as well as equipment and telephone manufactures Motorola (NYSE:MOT - news), Nokia Corp (NYSE:NOK - news). and Ericcson (NasdaqNM:ERICY - news), according to the Post.

The lawsuits allege links between cell-phone use and an increased risk of brain damage, genetic irregularities and other health problems, but no not claim that anyone suffered an illness, the Post said.

The newspaper said one lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages and money to reimburse people who bought cell-phone headsets to reduce exposure to radiation. The other suit demands that wireless telephone companies provide customers with headsets, the Post said.

Industry representatives disputed claims of possible health risks linked to cell phones.

Motorola's director of global strategic issues, Norman Sandler was quoted as saying: "There is absolutely no credible scientific evidence of any health risks associated with the use of wireless phones."

Verizon spokeswoman Nancy Stark made a similar assertion. "The available scientific evidence doesn't demonstrate any adverse health effects, she told the Post.

Despite several studies, the scientific world has yet to decide whether or not there is a link between cancer and cell phone usage. Studies so far, many funded by the wireless industry, have thrown up conflicting results, leaving the question of whether cell phones are completely safe or unsafe still unanswered.

Angelos is also helping with another lawsuit against the wireless industry in which a Baltimore neurologist claimed that his use of cell phones caused a malignant brain tumor.

Angelos, who is also the owner of the Baltimore Orioles professional baseball team, helped the state of Maryland win $4.2 billion in damages from the tobacco industry.

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