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Decision against Santa Fe anti-WiFi suit upheld by state appeals court

SANTA FE – A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals has upheld a court decision against Santa Fe anti-Wi-Fi activist Arthur Firstenberg in his lawsuit against a neighbor over her use of devices like her cellphone, a Wi-Fi modem and light dimmer switches. Firstenberg maintains he suffers from electromagnetic sensitivity.

Firstenberg’s “vague and generalized arguments” provided no basis for reversing District Judge Sarah Singleton’s decision to dismiss his claims against neighbor Raphaela Monribot, says the appeals court decision.

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Arthur Firstenberg, right, talks to his attorney before a 2010 hearing in the lawsuit he filed against his neighbor Raphaela Monribot over her use of WiFi, her cell phone and other electrical devices. (Journal file)

But the court panel also upheld Singleton’s finding that Firstenberg did not have to pay the cost of Monribot’s defense. Singleton had found that the insurance held by Monribot’s landlord had paid for “nearly all” of the defense costs of about $85,000 and also took into consideration Firstenberg’s inability to pay.

Singleton determined in a 2012 ruling that scientific evidence did not support the idea of electromagnetic sensitivity. The suit had the potential to have a major impact on the wireless industry and customers.

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