A three-judge panel with the state's Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's order against Santa Fe anti-Wi-Fi activist Arthur Firstenberg.
Yet in an opinion issued on March 5, the court also ruled in favor for Firstenberg in counterclaims brought against him by Raphaela Monribot, the neighbor Firstenberg sued in 2010 for using a cell phone, Wi-Fi modem, dimmer switch and other devices in her rented home.
because he says he suffers from a condition called electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS) "that renders him acutely sensitive to electromagnetic radiation," notes the appellate court, which said Firstenberg failed to show that the frequencies caused him harm.
"We will not do for Mr. Firstenberg what he has failed to do on his own behalf," Appeals Court Judge Jonathan Sutin ruled, "that is, search the record in an attempt to demonstrate that his experts meet the standard of reliability required of expert scientific testimony."
First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah Singleton determined in her initial September 2012
that the evidence that formed the basis of Firstenberg's lawsuit was not "scientifically reliable." She noted that there's been no peer-reviewed research that links the low levels of electromagnetic radiation from devices like cell phones and the variety of medical conditions Firstenberg claims suffer from as a result of those radio frequencies (which included headaches, bruising, testicular pain and a variety of other ailments).
He says the US Social Security Administration has paid him disability benefits since 1992 because of his electromagnetic "sensitivities."
Calling it a case about "junk science," Monribot's attorneys Joseph Romero and Chris Graeser said in a statement that they are pleased that the Court of Appeals agreed, but that it came with a "cost."
"Our client had to move out of a house she enjoyed and no longer lives in Santa Fe," they wrote. They said litigation is ongoing between Firstenberg and Robin Leith, the owner of the home who "has been unable to lease her house because of the lawsuit."
Firstenberg, who represented himself on the appeal, could not be immediately reached.
Judges Michael Bustamante and Cynthia Fry concurred with the ruling.
The panel upheld the district court's ruling that Firstenberg had an implied easement to access the electric meter and switch located on Monribot's home, which also provided electricity to Firstenberg's home. It also denied Monribot's attempt to recover costs from Firstenberg.