News Column

Lawyers Want Cash in Electromagnetic Lawsuit

Oct. 26, 2012

Tom Sharpe

Lawyers who defended clients sued by wireless foe Arthur Firstenberg want him to pay their legal fees and other costs totaling nearly $170,000.

Firstenberg, who says he is extraordinarily sensitive to the electromagnetic signals, sued Raphaela Monribot in early 2010, claiming she was damaging his health by using an iPhone, a Wi-Fi system, dimmer switches, compact fluorescent lights and other electronics in her house that backed up to his in a west-side neighborhood.

Monribot's landlady Robin Leith was later added as a defendant in Firstenberg's complaint.

State District Judge Sarah Singleton threw out the iPhone claim, ruling that only the Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over cellphones, but let the other claims stand.

In September, she found Firstenberg had not proved his health was affected and denied his motions to call expert witnesses to testify in his behalf.

This month, Singleton granted Monribot's motion to dismiss the case. Firstenberg indicated he will appeal Singleton's ruling..

This week, Monribot's lawyers Christopher Graeser and Joseph Romero submitted a $84,857 legal bill to the court. Leith's lawyers Ann Keith and Nels Orell also presented a bill for about $83,000. The lawyers are asking Singleton to order Firstenberg to pay the bills.

The vast majority of both bills are for a single expert witness for the defense, Herman Staudenmayer, a clinical psychologist from Denver.

Firstenberg said Staudenmayer's career has been devoted to "destroying the lives of people with chemical sensitivities in recent years, and now he's latched onto electrical sensitivities as well. ...

"It's completely outrageous. If they win, they're going to take everything I own," he said. "It's not enough that they've damaged my health and won their case and left me $100,000 in hock to my own lawyer [Lindsay Lovejoy]. Now they want to break me and leave me with nothing, make me sell my home and leave me in the street."

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)

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