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Apple and Samsung Hit With Lawsuit Over Mobile Phone RF Emissions

Apple and Samsung Hit With Lawsuit Over Mobile Phone RF Emissions

A mere two days following a Chicago Tribune investigation into the radio frequency radiation emissions of phones made by Apple and Samsung comes a lawsuit for alleged damages and problems related to RF emissions exposure.

AppleInsider reports the class action suit was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday. The lawsuit claims RF radiation emitted from smartphone devices designed and manufactured by Apple and Samsung exceed legal limits set forth by the Federal Communications Commission.

The case also takes issue with marketing materials from the firms that claim the devices operate within regulated guidelines. The suit claims neither company issues warnings about any negative health effects related to high RF emissions.

“Numerous recent scientific publications, supported by hundreds of scientists worldwide, have shown that RF radiation exposure affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines,” the filing reads. “Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans.”

The lawsuit is based almost entirely on results on an independent lab’s study financed by the Chicago Tribune. The report, published on Wednesday, claiming some of Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s phones were emitting radio frequency radiation beyond federal safety limits

The Tribune tested 11 models from four companies, with varying results. This included three more brand-new iPhone 7s at full power. The Tribune says radio frequency radiation exposure from the iPhone 7 measured over the legal safety limit and more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing.

Plaintiffs are arguing that Apple “covered up any risks by misrepresenting the safety of the smartphones,” misleading customers by not informing them of potential ill effects from their devices’ RF emissions.

Meanwhile, Apple told The Chicago Tribune that testing hadn’t been performed properly and was not “in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the iPhone models.” The Cupertino firm also said it had re-tested the devices, and their testing confirmed the devices meet all exposure guidelines.

“All iPhone models, including iPhone 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where iPhone is sold,” the statement said. “After careful review and subsequent validation of all iPhone models tested in the (Tribune) report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable … exposure guidelines and limits.”

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced that it will do its own retesting of smartphones in the coming months.

Class plaintiffs include owners of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Attached to the suit are Chicago-based lawyers Beth Fegan and Timothy A. Scott, partners at law firm Fegan Scott. Fegan Scott on Thursday of last week announced it was “investigating” the Chicago Tribune report, indicating a lawsuit was imminent.

“The fact that the Chicago Tribune can convene a group of experts and develop such convincing findings shows that the phone manufacturers may be intentionally hiding what they know about radiation output,” Fegan said in a statement Thursday. “This could be the Chernobyl of the cell phone industry, cover-up and all.”

The lawsuit plaintiffs are seeking class status, injunctive relief and damages including costs of medical monitoring, restitutions and wrongfully obtained revenue.