2017-03-18 40 EU organizations denounce WHO’s conflict of interest

[All-solid-state Battery – BC Hydro High Power Transmission Lines – Doctor John Goodenough – Florida Power & Light Co. – Health – Honeywell – Karen Santiago‘s Class Action Lawsuit for Smart Meter Damage Claims & Safety – RF – WHO Conflicts of Interest | Anmore, BC – EU – Broward County, Florida, USA]

1)    Major press release from European organizations calling for World Health Organization to divest itself of it conflicts of interest re. RF radiation and its health effects.

 

 

 

 

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European coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation which truly protects public health

The Conflict of Interest Scandal is repeating itself in the WHO: European citizens’ organisations uncover conflicts of interest between the health and radiofrequency WHO expert group and telecommunications or electric companies.

Almost 40 organizations and European Platforms (which in turn include many regional, national or local social organizations), supported by the International EMF Alliance (IEMFA), denounce the flagrant conflict of interest of the Core Group of experts for drafting, in the current year, of a WHO Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on Radio-Frequency Fields:

http://www.peccem.org/DocumentacionDescarga/Plataforma-Estatal/notasprensa/European.coordination.press.release-february-2017.pdf

2)    A new battery that sounds as if it could make it possible to go hydro-free via solar panels. Between this and Tesla’s work, we might have some viable choices, depending on the price.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/technology/lithium-ion-battery-inventor-touts-new-battery-breakthrough/ar-AAo3hFe

3)    BC Hydro shows its lack of concern for the health of its customers by contemplating high power transmission lines 20 meters from homes in Anmore. Another example of costs/profit over safety.

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Anmore, B.C. residents rally against planned hydro tower

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/calgary-and-edmonton/anmore-bc-residents-rally-against-planned-hydro-tower/article34339653/

or

[https://www.google.ca/search?q=anmore-bc-residents-rally-against-planned-hydro-tower&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=6LnOWJPlKYry8AXi8oGQBg – click on the top article, it won’t be locked]

4)    In Florida, a class action lawsuit is awaiting certification, charging that smeters were installed by unqualified, untrained workers, endangering life and property. This is similar to BC where Corix hired people straight off the street and after a few hours training, sent them out to do exchanges normally done by highly skilled Electricians/Linesmen. Damage done to the base at the time of installation can cause arcing and fires weeks or months later and, of course, BC Hydro will say that the fire is the fault of the meter base which is the homeowner’s property.  Our lives and property are being put at risk.

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Because the entire article is not available at this link, someone who had access provided me with the article which is below in Letters.

 

Letters:

www.FPL.com. (PRNewsFoto/Florida Power & Light Company)

Fla. Homeowner Seeks Cert. For Smart Meter Damage Claims by Nathan Hale – Law 360 – March 13, 2017:
https://www.law360.com/articles/900970/fla-homeowner-seeks-cert-for-smart-meter-damage-claims

Law360, Miami (March 13, 2017, 10:59 PM EDT) — A Florida homeowner is seeking class certification for more than 3.5 million Florida Power & Light Co. customers whose analog energy meters were allegedly poorly replaced with new smart meters by contractor Honeywell International Inc. at the utility’s direction, resulting in risks of property damage.

Counsel for plaintiff Karen Santiago describe the proposed class action as “an exemplary model for class certification” in her motion, filed Friday in federal court in Miami, although another federal judge rejected class certification in a 2014 case [see below] stemming from the same work that featured several of the same attorneys on the plaintiff’s side.

Unlike in the previous case, which sought monetary damages to reimburse customers who paid for repairs themselves, Santiago’s suit seeks as relief only that Honeywell must perform meter inspections and any needed cost-fee repairs for all class members, as well as an injunction against the company from performing future installations without first properly training its employees and agents.

“We think we will prevail in securing class certification because, simply stated, the facts and the law strongly militate in favor of it,” Santiago’s counsel David Brill of Brill & Rinaldi told Law360 on Monday.

FPL ordered the installation of smart meters at approximately 4.3 million customers’ properties in order to comply with certain federal statutory requirements and to gain additional information on usage, more accurate readings, and the ability to turn power on and off remotely, according to Santiago’s motion.

The utility paid Honeywell a fee per smart meter installed, thus providing the contractor with an economic incentive to complete the job as quickly as possible. To achieve this goal, Honeywell hired what Santiago calls “ostensibly ‘trained’” nonlicensed, nonelectrician installers who were trained by supervisors who also were not licensed electricians.

Taking 15 to 20 seconds to perform meter replacements, instead of the 10 to 15 minutes the suit claims was needed, Honeywell’s workers allegedly provided shoddy work that resulted in ill-fitting or damaged connections between the smart meters and homeowners’ meter enclosures. This caused arcing, overheating, power surges, burns to the meter enclosures and other property damage, including in one case a house fire, according to the motion.

Santiago, who lives in Broward County, says she is “justifiably concerned” that her smart meter will cause damage to her property and possibly injury or death to her or her loved ones.

She is seeking to certify a class of all residential property owners in Florida who had an analog meter removed and replaced by a smart meter installed by Honeywell for FPL, with the exclusion of nearly 18,000 customers who received repairs between 2009 and 2014 that Honeywell and FPL facilitated, according to the motion.

“All class members are at risk of suffering the same injury — namely, damage to their meter can, its components, other property and person, due to actions taken during installation and resulting damage,” Santiago argues regarding the commonality of the propose class.

FPL has estimated that between 79,800 and 172,200 properties will require repairs, according to the motion.

In September 2014, U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga found a proposed class in a similar suit deficient on a number of points, including that it would require each potential class member to show that the damage claimed was not the result of a different cause, such as poor wiring.

Judge Altonaga also found that the plaintiffs in that case, Lissys Cortes and David Knight, also failed to make a sufficient factual showing they qualified for the class they sought to represent and, therefore, failed to show they were adequate representatives.

Cortes and Knight reached a settlement with Honeywell three months after Judge Altonaga’s ruling, according to court records.

Santiago’s motion argues there can be no doubt that she has standing, saying, “Honeywell installed her smart meter, and plaintiff is at risk of suffering damage to her meter enclosure and components and other property, as well as her person and the person of her loved ones.”

It also argues that her claims are identical to those of other potential class members and says, “Ms. Santiago shares a common goal with the class: To have Honeywell inspect and replace the smart meters so there is no risk of harm.”

Counsel for Honeywell did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeannete C. Lewis of Lewis Legal Group PA, David Wayne Brill and Joseph J. Rinaldi Jr. of Brill & Rinaldi, and Robert J. McKee of The McKee Law Group LLC.

Honeywell is represented by Gregory Mark Palmer of Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell.

The case is Santiago v. Honeywell International Inc., case number 1:16-cv-25359, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

–Editing by Philip Shea.

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Plaintiffs Denied Class Cert. In Honeywell Electric Meters Row by Nathan Hale – Law 360 – September 24, 2014:
https://www.law360.com/articles/580614/plaintiffs-denied-class-cert-in-honeywell-electric-meters-row

Law360, Miami (September 24, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT) — A Florida federal judge on Wednesday found plaintiffs’ claims insufficient to meet the prerequisites for class certification in a lawsuit alleging negligence against Honeywell International Inc. and a subsidiary over its installation of smart electric meters at the homes of Florida Power & Light customers.

Plaintiffs Lissys Cortes and David Knight brought the suit after FPL refused to reimburse them for repairs needed after Honeywell’s workers allegedly improperly replaced the analog electric meters on their homes with Smart Meters, damaging the connections and allegedly causing electrical arcing, which resulted in more extensive damage.

They sought to bring a class action on behalf of “All Florida Power & Light customers in Florida who had a Smart Meter installed at their property after September 2009 and who have suffered or will suffer unreimbursed economic loss arising from the defendant’s [sic] improper installation of the Smart Meter,” providing some additional details on the type of damages covered.

But U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga found the proposed class deficient on a number of points, including that it would require each potential class member to show that the damage claimed was not the result of a different cause, such as poor wiring.

“The Potential Class definition impermissibly requires a finding of liability and causation at the class certification stage,” she said. “For the court to determine membership, it would also need to determine the validity of putative class members’ claims and defenses to those claims.”

The reliance on plaintiff’s uncorroborated claims of electrical problems arising after the installation of a Smart Meter also troubled Judge Altonaga, who said this “self-interested reporting” would require individualized mini-trials, which would be inefficient and not suitable for a class action.

Focusing on the language that the class would include customers “who have suffered or will suffer unreimbursed economic loss,” Judge Altonaga said that the class definition was too vague because it includes an indeterminate number of customers who may suffer damages any time into the future.

Judge Altonaga also denied certification based on the requirements under Rule 23(a) for numerosity and adequacy.

She sided with Honeywell’s argument that the plaintiffs’ pleadings failed to do more than speculate on the number of potential class members and lacked “evidence that even a single FPL customer meets the proposed class definition.”

References to 603 FPL customer inquiries and an electrician’s account of approximately 120 individuals who had hired him to repair damaged meter cans since 2010 did not sway the judge. Nor would she allow them to rely on outstanding discovery of FPL data.

Honeywell’s arguments that Knight and Cortes have legal and factual issues unique to them that might disqualify them from their own proposed class led Judge Altonaga to rule against them on adequacy issues.

“Plaintiffs fail to make a sufficient factual showing they are even in the class they seek to represent, and for the same reason they fail to show they are adequate representatives,” she said.

Finally, Judge Altonaga also found against the plaintiffs on the requirements of predominance and superiority. She said they offered “little beyond their assurances” that the common issues would predominate over individual inquiries in would-be class members’ cases, noting there are potentially numerous sources of the kind of damage that would form the claims, and the need for these individualized inquiries eliminates the superiority factor of trying the case as a class action.

Honeywell counsel Todd Noteboom of Stinson Leonard Street said the company is pleased with the ruling. Plaintiffs counsel could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday.

The plaintiffs are represented by David Mark Brandwein; Jeannete C. Lewis of Lewis Legal Group PA; David Wayne Brill, Joseph J. Rinaldi Jr. and Anely Michelle Hernandez of Brill & Rinaldi; Juan Manuel Garcia Jr.; and Robert J. McKee of The McKee Law Group LLC.

Honeywell is represented by Scott N. Wagner, Justin Scott Brenner and Lori P. Lustrin of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP and Jeannine L. Lee and Todd A. Noteboom of Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

The case is Cortes et al. v. Honeywell Building Solutions SES Corporation et al., case number 1:14-cv-20429, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

–Editing by Emily Kokoll.

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“The absence of evidence of hazard is not proof of safety”     
~ Dr. Devra Davis