Suder is perhaps best known for filing a
high-profile $800 million lawsuit against the cell-phone
industry, claiming its products gave her client, Chris
Newman -- a neurologist in Baltimore -- a brain tumour.
That case won't be heard by a judge
until next week, but Suder's already considering 36 more
lawsuits against the industry, which she contends sells
products that are harmful to consumers.
Even though the scientific research goes
both ways, the industry continues to proclaim its
"Years of scientific research reaffirm
there are no health risks associated with wireless
phones," said Nokia spokesman Keith Nowak.
Most recently, Suder accused the
wireless industry of "putting a spin" on a Federal Trade
Commission decision to sue two companies for falsely
advertising technology that purportedly shielded
cell-phone users from radiation. While Suder agreed the
FTC should crack down on fraudulent claims, she said the
cell-phone industry's reaction to the news showed it had
a lot to hide in terms of the health risks associated
with its products.
"It appears that the wireless
communications industry is putting a spin on the FTC's
action or inaction," Suder said. "This creates the
appearance that these snake oil devices don't work
because you do not need protective devices. This is
clearly untrue.... Cell phone radiation is dangerous and
causes cellular damage that can result in tumors and
Her evidence -- which she will present
in federal district court in Baltimore next week -- that
cell phones wreak such havoc? "Dozens and dozens" of
patents filed by the industry to create
Nokia filed one of these patents on
July 28, 1998, according to the U.S. patent office. The
patent contains a description for the creation of a
device that would protect the cells in a user's head
"It has been suggested that radio
frequency irradiation may stimulate extra growth among
supportive cells in the nerve system, which in the worst
case it has been suggested could lead to a development
of a malignant tumour," the Nokia patent states.
"Although the consequences described above have not been
scientifically verified, the uncertainty has some
effects by reducing the speed of growth of the market of
radiophones." Motorola, Ericsson and other handset
manufacturers own similar patents, Suder said. "Those
patents aren't snake oil," she said. "They're from the
defendants' mouths themselves."
The cell-phone industry remains
confident it will quash Suder's evidence in court.
Nowak dismissed the Nokia patent touted
by Suder as a patent "on antenna efficiency," not a
disease-fighting tool. "The more efficiently the phone
can work, the better" it is for the consumer, Nowak
said. While Nokia won't have its day in court next week
-- it isn't one of the defendants of Suder's lawsuit –-
it may face Suder's wrath in another lawsuit.
Next week, a judge will sift through
scientific evidence provided by both Suder and the
cell-phone industry to determine whether Chris Newman,
41, got a brain tumour from using a cellular phone. The
defendants in that lawsuit are Motorola, Verizon
Communications, Bell Atlantic Corp., Bell Atlantic
Mobile, SBC Communications, the Telecommunication
Industry Association, and Cellular Telecommunications
and Internet Association.