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Judge: NM anti-Wi-Fi activist can't detect signal

Associated Press Modified: September 6, 2012 at 11:30 am •  Published: September 6, 2012
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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An anti-Wi-Fi activist who claims that his neighbor's wireless service has caused him physical harm "cannot reliably detect" the electromagnetic stimuli that he says is hurting him, a Santa Fe judge recently ruled.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Q2bjU8) that District Judge Sarah Singleton recently ruled Arthur Firstenberg "cannot discern or discriminate the effects of anxiety caused by" wireless signals.

Singleton in a recent order also took Firstenberg to task for failing to comply with her orders to work with a court-appointed expert on protocols for testing his purported sensitivity to wireless signals, despite her "repeated admonitions."

However, Singleton did rule that Firstenberg can still try to prove damages for injuries or pain and suffering.

Firstenberg filed suit in January 2010 seeking monetary damages from his neighbor Raphaela Monribot and her landlord Robin Leith. A victory for him could have a huge impact on the electronics business and consumers of Wi-Fi devices in Santa Fe.

But because Firstenberg won't cooperate with the judge's expert or the defendants on "blind testing" to determine whether he can tell or is affected when electronics are turned off or on, Singleton ruled that at trial he cannot submit as evidence any testing from his own experts that purports to show symptoms from his exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Attorneys for Monribot and Leith have argued that any symptoms Firstenberg may have are due to his fear of wireless signals or other health issues.

Firstenberg's attorney, Lindsay Lovejoy Jr., did not immediately return a phone call to The Associated Press.

Firstenberg, a vocal wireless opponent in Santa Fe, has fought the expansion of wireless operations on a number of fronts. In 2010, he asked a judge to halt AT&T's use of an upgraded wireless signal in Santa Fe until city held a public hearing. Firstenberg said he has heard from a number of people who "had been having worse insomnia, irritability, eye pain, dizziness, nausea, headaches, itching, respiratory and sinus problems" in the days after AT&T began broadcasting its 3G signal from its Santa Fe towers.


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