A Class Action against Apple claims that some iPhone models exceed Federal Radiation Exposure Limits by up to 500%
In August Patently Apple posted a detailed report titled "A Law Firm eyes a Class Action against Apple and others triggered by a Chicago Tribune report on Radiation levels on Smartphones."
Our report noted that when Apple was informed of the Chicago Tribune’s test results including the laboratory’s 100-page lab report, Apple disputed the findings, saying they were not performed in a way that properly assesses iPhones.
Apple further articulated that test results for the iPhone 7s "were inaccurate due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the iPhone models."
Beyond FeganScott's promise to investigate, the law firm of FeganScott published a press release wherein Beth Fegan, a managing partner, said that "this could be the Chernobyl of the cell phone industry, cover-up and all." Could the statement by any more dramatic?
The law firm stated in a tweet at the time that they would investigate the Chicago Tribune's research.
Well, that "investigation" has now turned into a class action lawsuit filed by FeganScott. Their press release published today reads as follows:
National consumer-rights law firm FeganScott consolidated its two proposed class action suits against Apple and Samsung Electronics after independent testing from a Federal Communications Commission-accredited laboratory confirmed that radio-frequency (RF) radiation levels from popular Apple and Samsung smartphones far exceeded federal limits when the devices are used as marketed by the manufacturers.
Beth Fegan, managing partner of FeganScott and the attorney representing the consolidated suit, which was filed after the firm hired the industry-recognized lab, says that smartphone manufacturers must take responsibility for misleading consumers about the levels of RF radiation emitted by their smartphones when used against or in close proximity to the user’s skin.
Fegan further noted that "Apple and Samsung smartphones have changed the way we live. Adults, teenagers and children wake up to check their email or play games and do work or school exercises on their smartphones. They carry these devices in their pockets throughout the day and literally fall asleep with them in their beds."
Additionally, "The manufacturers told consumers this was safe, so we knew it was important to test the RF radiation exposure and see if this was true. It is not true. The independent results confirm that RF radiation levels are well over the federal exposure limit, sometimes exceeding it by 500 percent, when phones are used in the way Apple and Samsung encourage us to. Consumers deserve to know the truth.”
The FCC-accredited lab tested six different brand-new smartphone models at various distances, ranging from zero to 10 millimeters to measure the amount of RF radiation released when touching or in close proximity to the body.
When tested at two millimeters, the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 were more than twice the federal exposure limit. At zero millimeters, the iPhone 8 was five times more than the federal exposure limit, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 was more than three times the federal exposure limit.
The consolidated suit filed by FeganScott includes a comprehensive list of all named plaintiffs and includes the extensive FCC-accredited lab test results from all the smartphones tested: iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iPhone XR, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy S10.
The test settings reflected the smartphones’ actual use conditions, rather than the conditions set by manufacturers in order to produce results that appear to be safe for consumers.
"Smartphone owners across the country deserve to know that the RF radiation levels from smartphones when touching the skin or used close to the body may be unsafe," Fegan noted and added that "The emails and calls from concerned consumers have increased as more research comes to light, and it is our goal to show that Apple and Samsung were aware of the alarmingly high radiation levels when their products arrived on the market."
According to Pew Research Center, 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and of those, 81 percent own a smartphone. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, reports that 29 percent of American teens sleep with their phones in bed with them, which makes the radiation level findings especially alarming.
Filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, the lawsuit seeks to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone owners. The suit asks the court to order the defendants to pay for medical monitoring and damages. To learn more, visit www.feganscott.com.
Will Apple and Samsung find other FCC approved labs producing different results to challenge FeganScott who are looking for a big payday? Yes, more than likely. So stay tuned as this legal battle could be an interesting one that could have ramifications for the entire smartphone industry should FeganScott's class action prevail