Potential EWEB liability – that means us

Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure from cell phones, WiFi and microwave ovens is voluntary and occasional.

Exposure from nearby cell phone towers and Smart Meters is involuntary and continual.  Private or public entities subjecting whole populations to health risks of EMF exposure could become liable for large individual and class-action personal injury lawsuits.

Since EWEB is a ratepayer-owned utility, costs of such litigation, judgments and settlements in or out of court would be born by the public owners.

Legal cases have already been filed in other areas.  Four Israeli plaintiffs have filed a 3.68 billion NIS ($9.5 million) class action lawsuit against four Israeli cell phone companies.

In France, the Versailles Court of Appeals stated, “… it becomes clear from reading the contributions and scientific publications produced in debate… that uncertainty over the harmlessness of exposure to the waves emitted by relay antennas persists and can be considered serious and reasonable.”

The World Health Organization’s recommendation to follow “the precautionary principle” to avoid “a potentially serious risk without awaiting the results of scientific research” would certainly be invoked in a personal injury lawsuit. Glioma brain tumors have been identified as more frequent on the side of the head where cell phones are held.

An Italian executive won a “major award” for a glioma brain tumor from cell phone exposure because he had been required to use a cell phone several hours a day for years  An American law firm is now inviting lawsuits by glioma patients.

In Canada, insurance companies did not trust industry-supported research and hired an Austrian scientist  who discovered that DNA can be broken by cell phone transmissions possibly increasing cancer risk; the scientist said that MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED.  The Austrian Workers Compensation Board like Italy is now allowing claims to be filed.

In Canada a CBC news report noted that 60% of insurance companies will no longer insure cell phone companies nor will a major reinsurance company Swiss RE, fearing “billions in insurance costs” in the 2020-2030 decade.

Two large class-action lawsuits have been filed in California in mid-2013 against Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and several Smart Meter manufacturers alleging negligence, fraud, deception and product liability for smart meter related harm.  Claimants are being invited to join the lawsuits throughout California.

Compounding all other problems, the liability exposure to EWEB ratepayers of community-wide smart meters is unacceptable and would violate fiduciary responsibilities of the EWEB board.

EWEB has not provided sufficient information on its web site to allow Board members or ratepayer-owners to make  informed decisions regarding potential liability or personal injury or danger to homes and businesses from smart meter installation.

Families for SAFE Meters can document numerous example of partially factual statements being presented by EWEB’s public presentations. Granted, this technology is complex and ever changing, but EWEB charged forward without enabling a citizen involvement or advisory committee to be established as an on-going method of ascertaining accuracy of information being presented to the public.  This is not acceptable public policy.

EWEB could have averted a lot of the distrust that has been building in the community if it had admitted that it has made mistakes instead of denying that they really did not understand the technology such as the “mesh net” that they had originally considered.  EWEB board and staff STILL do not understand that EPUD has wired meters with signals carried over power lines not wireless smart meters being considered by EWEB – two years after the pilot was authorized!