In a ruling that has grabbed the attention of the product liability and telecommunications bars, the D.C. Court of Appeals last week revived a series of lawsuits by individuals who say they were harmed by cell phone radiation, reversing a lower court decision that found the claims were blocked by federal law.
The court’s opinion in Murray v. Motorola added yet another wrinkle to a debate within U.S. courts over whether national regulations trump state laws when it comes to issues surrounding cell phone safety. In dismissing parts of the cases while preserving others, including a set of consumer protection claims, the decision gave both sides of the case fodder to declare victory. But while the plaintiffs still have a long road before getting to a jury, some lawyers familiar with the decision said the ruling could lead to the filing of even more suits against cell phone companies in Washington’s trial court.
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