Skeptic News: Judge: Plaintiff Can’t Detect Presence of Wi-Fi

From: Albuquerque Journal 

A Santa Fe judge has ruled that a man who claims his neighbor’s phone and wireless services have caused him physical harm “cannot reliably detect the presence or absence” of the electromagnetic stimuli he maintains he is sensitive to.

District Judge Sarah Singleton in a recent order also took anti-Wi-Fi advocate Arthur Firstenberg to task for failing to comply with her orders to work with a court-appointed expert on protocols for testing his purported sensitivity to wireless signals, despite her “repeated admonitions.”

Firstenberg filed suit seeking monetary damages from his neighbor Raphaela Monribot and her landlord Robin Leith in January 2010. A victory for him could have a huge impact on the electronics business and everyday consumers of Wi-Fi devices.

But because Firstenberg won’t cooperate with the judge’s expert or the defendants on “blind testing” to determine whether he can tell or is affected when electronics are turned off or on, Singleton ruled that at trial he cannot submit as evidence any testing from his own experts that purports to show symptoms from his exposure to electromagnetic fields.

In the absence of any independent testing, Singleton also made findings that Firstenberg can’t reliably detect the presence of electromagnetic stimuli and “cannot discern or discriminate the effects of anxiety caused by a testing situation or the presence of electromagnetic stimulus.”

There remains no scientific evidence to support the existence of electromagnetic sensitivity though the concept has been used in the study of the nocebo effect in the past.

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