A judge ruled Tuesday that anti Wi-Fi fanatic Arthur Firstenberg failed to carry his burden of proof that the evidence he seeks to admit in the $1 million dollar lawsuit against his neighbor is "scientifically reliable."
The order effectively kills much of the foundation of Firstenberg's lawsuit, which has dragged his neighbor, Raphaela Monribot, and her landlord through a strange two-year legal saga replete with competing motions about whether evidence proffered by Firstenburg and his "medical experts" who diagnosed him with "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" should be admissible. Firstenberg said that electromagnetic signals from Monribot's residence caused him "injuries, illness, pain and suffering" and have made him homeless, so he decided to sue her for refusing to cease use of everyday electronic devices.
Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that Firstenberg's evidence and "medical experts"--attempting to link electromagnetic fields to a host of wide-ranging symptoms Firstenberg claims torment him--failed to meet the legal standards for admissibility in court, which broadly state the theory behind the evidence has to be accepted by the scientific community.
Firstenberg's evidence claiming electromagnetic fields cause harmful medical symtoms is "not generally accepted and is not reported in journals that have received recognition as prestigious, accepted scientific journals," the order states, pointing out that the World Health Organization concluded the symptoms stemming from EMS may caused by "pre-existing psychiatric conditions" as well as "stress reactions as a result of worrying about believed EMF health effects, rather than EMF exposure."
An earlier order by Singleton had ruled that Firstenberg cannot "reliably predict" the presence of electromagnetic stimulus after he refused to submit a himself to blinded provocation testing.
As SFR reported, Firstenberg's "medical experts" included a Raymond Singer, a psychologist and self-styled "neurobehavioral toxicologist" who, having examined Firstenberg reacting to electromagnetic fields the plaintiff apparently did not know were active, concluded Firstenberg had EMS. Singer didn't have certification from any board of toxicology.
The other was actually a licensed physician, Firstenberg's doctor Erica Elliott, who testified under oath that Firstenberg's exposure to electromagnetic fields resulted in bruising and testicular pain. Elliott, a friend of Firstenberg's who has donated to his anti-wireless group, also testified at an earlier hearing in First Judicial District Court that she herself thought she had EMS, and claimed it was a real medical disorder, as evidenced by the growing number of patients she was seeing about it.
Elliot also cited a study as evidence that EMS is caused by environmental factors. Called the McCarthy study, it was Firstenberg's "main article cited," as evidence that electromagnetic fields caused Firstenberg's symptoms, Sington notes. In the study, a doctor self-tests herself and concludes she was experiencing electromagnetic stimulation.
"In this study McCarthy was self-diagnosed with EMS," Singleton's order points out.
Monribot issued a statement through attorneys Chris Graeser and Joseph Romero: "I am very proud of my lawyers who took this challenge and prevailed, because it seems as if common sense is very hard to legally prove."