The idea of holding a person, business, or government accountable for harm that can be felt but not seen is nothing new. For instance, there have been a number of successful lawsuits filed by farmers who claimed that stray voltage harmed their dairy cattle and consequently their bottom lines.
Now, a Massachusetts family has reportedly filed a lawsuit alleging that a school’s use of Wi-Fi technology has harmed their son, who they allege has a heightened sensitivity.
Allegations in the Complaint
The parents’ 26-page complaint, which was filed in federal district court on behalf of their 12-year-old son, claims that the Fay School in Southboro, Massachusetts has such a strong Wi-Fi signal that it has caused their son to suffer symptoms ranging from nosebleeds to nausea. An additional 20 pages were attached to the complaint in the form of exhibits, many of which were letters from doctors and scientists concerning the son’s condition and WiFi sensitivity in general.
The suit further alleges that boy suffers from a condition known as “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome,” which is aggravated by exposure to electromagnetic radiation such as that caused by the school’s WiFi system. According to the boy’s doctor, headaches and other symptoms caused by the school’s WiFi system are interfering with his ability to do his schoolwork and learn.
The parents’ complaint was brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which governs the rights of disabled persons to have reasonable accommodations, but it also seeks damages for negligence and breach of contract. Tuition at the school ranges from $13,500 for half-day, day school kindergartners to $69,520 for ninth grade, international boarding students for whom English is a second language. The suit seeks $250,000 in damages, along with injunctive relief in the form of an order requiring the school to turn down the Wi-Fi signal in certain areas, change to cable internet, or make other accommodations.
The School’s Response
The school says that it has hired a private company to analyze its Wi-Fi signal and that the company has found that the signal is substantially within the limits allowed by federal law.
What Happens Next
The suit was formally filed on August 12, and the defendant school is expected to file its answer soon. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, it is likely that there will be extensive discovery in the suit, including the inspection of the boy’s medical records and information concerning the school’s update of its wireless system in 2013. Should the case proceed to trial, the opinions of experts in the field will probably be major factors in the outcome.
To Speak to an Experienced Massachusetts Injury Attorney
If you or a family member has been hurt by another’s negligence or wrongdoing, you probably have a lot of questions about your legal right to seek redress against the party whose actions harmed you. The Law Firm of John C. Manoog, III, is here to help. Call us for an appointment at (888) 262-6664. There is no charge for the first appointment, and many cases are handled on a contingency fee arrangement. Nos falamos Portugues.
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