ISRAEL: Radio en TV Interviews over $ 100.000 schadevergoeding

dinsdag, 12 maart 2013 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Bron: Iris Atmon 9 maart 2013

Naar aanleiding van de schikking in Israël waarbij een schadevergoeding van US $ 100.000 door het Telecombedrijf PARTNER is uitgekeerd aan een slachtoffer van straling van mobieltjes, zie:

Juridische%20Informatie/7264/israel_telefoonmaatschappij_betaalt_us_%24_100.000_aan_slachtoffer_straling .
hieronder de tekst van het radio interview, met daaronder de tekst van het TV interview.

1. Radio Interview over Israëlische rechtszaak

Lawyer Anat Kaufman, tort expert, and prof' Sigal Sadezky the Israeli Interphone researcher, and manager of epidemiology of cancer and radiation unit, Gertner Institute Tel Hashomer hospital, were interviewed on the radio by Gabi Gazit.

Gazit: Tell me, in principle it's a very big precedent because until today,it has not been proven, that talking on cell phone is so dangerous, that companies compensate the public.

Lawyer Kaufman: The problem is that it is difficult to call it a precedent, because there was not given a verdict.

Gazit: The precedent is that the company gave money without the need to prove the damage.

Kaufman: Not without need, but as a compromise, that the company does not admit anything, as a good will gesture and other sayings of this type.

I think there is some kind of a precedent in this. From many years of working with big companies and insurance companies, I am not familiar so much with good will gesture. No one does a good will gesture if he does not feel….Gazit: Why Partner has to do this gesture, that will invite thousands of new lawsuits, for sure.

Kaufman: I did not read the lawsuit but with no doubt this sum of money
is beyond gesture, it has risk purchase, and not a small risk purchase.
It means that probably

Partner company was afraid that it's possible that continuing managing the lawsuit will lead to a decision in principle, that will really cause serious damage, and so preferred this gesture of 400,000 shekels.

It is important to remember that these 400,000 may not be everything because since the person talked during work he is maybe recognized as work accident, and he receives money from the national insurance and these 400,000 shekels are beyond national insurance, maybe Partner company will pay beyond this. So it is a big sum. It maybe points to a risk for the cellular company. Two months ago was published a study that collected 1800 studies, that talked about the risk. Maybe also this fostered Partner to reach an agreement. I am sure that they also took into account that such a settlement even if it's called….Gazit: Their mailbox is going to explode now from lawsuits.

Kaufman: I will tell you when it is not simple. An expert should determine a causal relationship before you file a lawsuit of type 1, personal lawsuit. For personal lawsuit, you will have to prove, to bring an expert opinion that there was indeed a causal relationship between the use and the specific type of cancer. Not every case will be recognized and to reach to a situation that a lawyer will agree to represent you, is not simple. But there is another type that can arise and it is the class action lawsuits. If indeed it will be found that there is relationship between cell phone use and cancer, or that there might be relationship between cell phone use and cancer, there is a place for a class action that even if no damage was done to you, there is harm to the autonomy, that we did not know and we did not say. The whole subject, that there is no study until day, which proves conclusively, it is also not surprising so much, because there is someone who has a very big interest that such studies will not exist,
and it is harder.

Gazit: The tobacco companies also do not pay to every cancer patient who got lung cancer until today.

Kaufman: But with cigarettes things are much more advanced. Imagine that we go to buy a cell phone and it will be written on it: danger for the user.

Gazit: Professor Sigal Sadezky, manager of the epidemiology of cancer and radiation unit, Gertner Institute in Tel Hashomer.

Gazit: the person is saying that he was exposed to cell phone radiation in the protected area and it caused a tumor in his ear, the same ear that was exposed.

Is this something you know? Is it known in the medical studies?

Sadezky: hmmm....when you ask ''known'' the question is what do you mean by ''known''. We study the cellular since 2000 when we know that there is a problem here, that there is here a technology which precedes the biology, meaning, we have not had sufficient period of time to check this subject. What is true for today, there is our study that we published which shows evidence for excess of tumors in the parotid gland when using cell phone, and there is the big interphone study, an international study, that I was a partner in, that showed an indication definitely for an excess of malignant brain tumors following the use, and also of acoustic neuroma like this guy in the morning TV show they spoke that he has parotid gland tumor. I used the word ''evidence'' on purpose. What I meant by ''evidence'', I meant that our study is still not final, from the simple reason that these studies were done in a period of time in which the user with the most time of use talked 13 years only, and this is of course not enough to prove the association.

Gazit: back then, the bills were based on number of minutes, today when the taarifs are free taarifs, people consume much more time of use. And also what's important is the cumulative, like I always say, it is like doing a study on a person who uses 3 cigarettes aday for 13 years, of course you will not see lung cancer, that we know is associated definitely with cigarette smoking. So there is really a limitation of the studies. A year ago, the WHO classified the radiation as possibly carcinogenic, and we continue in our scientific studies.

Gazit: The 7 million users with 24 million cell phones, what do they need to understand from you now, that using a cell phone for hours aday has danger of creating tumors?

Sadezky: I think there is enough evidence that a danger exists, in order to minimize the use. There is no doubt, that the protected area story is very very interesting.

Gazit: who is to blame, the protected area or the cell phone?

Sadezky: The cell phone is to blame and not the protected area. But the combination of cell phone with the protected area the worse the reception area you are in, and where they mask the radiation for you, then the phone makes more effort so the radiation is higher.

Gazit: Can we formulate a rule about it?

Sadezky: We already formulated it years ago

Gazit: what do you care to repeat it in my programme?

Sadezky: I will repeat it loud and clear

Gazit: and slow!

Sadezky: and slow…

The worse the reception is, the higher the radiation level is, so do not talk in places where you do not have reception, elevators, trains, in elevators you also expose those who are near you, to radiation.

Gazit: What is cancer near the ear?

Sadezky: it can be parotid or acoustic neuroma so I don't know

Thank you

2. Het TV interview

Oded ben Ami: Lawyer Assaf Posner, damages expert: did Partner agree to pay such a big sum of money, in order to avoid paying a bigger sum if they had to admit the association between cell phon use and the customer's tumor?

Lawyer Posner: probably. Such sums are not nuisance values, such sums are buying risk, meaning they did calcualtion, bought risk. The big surprize is that it was published. Usually such settlements do not arrive to the media.

Oded ben Ami: we tried to talk with everyone involved, Partner, their lawyer, the plaintiff's lawyer, everyone said that they are signed on a contract that forbids them from talking about it. Did you hear about such a case in the past, that a cell phone company paid to the customer?

Posner: No, I did not hear of such a case, as I said before, such settlements are very hidden when they happen. There are very strict secrecy contracts. To come and say that this is a gesture, I need to say, we raised an eyebrow, I am a lawyer for dozens of years, I have never seen such gestures. When doing gestures, something for the public, usually they do a lot of public relations about it.

Prof Sigal Sadezky, did you in the big and comprehensive study you participated in, found significant association between cell phone useand cancer tumors?

Sadezky: we found more than an indication, that this association might be possible, because there was found an association to people who used for the longest period of time and who used to hold the phone on the same side where the tumor developed, and more results that support the existence of an association. Data collection was finished in 2004 and the level of use was then relatively low, and the person who used maximum time, used for 13 years.
We have a case of a technology that preceds the biology. The WHO decided on the basis of our study, also other studies but especially our study, that the cellular is possibly carcinogenic. Of course, it does not say anything about a causal association.
We relate differently to science, and to public health where the safety factor is large, and for court there are other considerations.

Ben Ami: as lawyers, does it matter to you if there was found significance in science or not?

Lawyer Posner: it matters less. In science it is in high percentage, beyond doubt, but proving causal association needs a balance of probabilities 51%, meaning someone needs to be more right. There were cases in which science did not find causal relatioship, asbestos, and the high court said we know that generally there is causal relationship rgd asbestos, and we know that the people got sick, (and then the high court determined there was a causal association, so it was not needed to prove it in advance)

Professor Sadezky, is more known today on this association?
Sadekzy: since the public today has so much need for the answer whether the radiation is carcinogenic or not, the main money that was given to the Interphone, the main money was from the EU, the request for
research was too early. Since the interphone, there was not given main money, for such research. We did a study in Israel that included data until 2010
refered to Mobi Kids, in this study France Telecom SA and the UK HPA do the exposure assessment 5.7 million Euro of them 3.5 of the EC but there is no new data on adults. And also with children we started too early.

Lawyer Posner, do you anticipate heavy work load?
Posner: Definitely. Whether it is about parotid gland tumors or brain tumors, the people who get damage do not care if they receive money because of human gesture or not, money is money.

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