The cellular phone industry, including Venable client Verizon Wireless, scored a resounding victory on Monday, September 30, 2002 with a decision by Maryland U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, which effectively ends an $800 million cancer lawsuit against Verizon Wireless, Motorola and Cingular. In addition, the ruling likely stops other related lawsuits currently pending against the same defendants and closes the door on the filing of similar lawsuits in the future.
Venable took a lead defense role in the litigation filed by Dr. Christopher Newman, a 43-year-old Baltimore neurologist with brain cancer caused, he claimed, by his cellular phone use. Judge Blake reached her landmark opinion after reviewing extensive briefing by the parties and conducting a week-long hearing last February regarding alleged health effects of wireless phones. In ruling for the defendants, Judge Blake held that the causation opinions proffered by plaintiff’s experts, "have not gained general acceptance in the scientific community, as demonstrated by the numerous national and international scientific and governmental published reports finding no sufficient proof that use of handheld cellular phones causes human brain cancer, and by the array of established, experienced, and highly-credentialed experts called to testify by the defense."
Venable’s team, including Paul Strain, Chip Hill, Kathleen Sullivan, Christina Gaarder, Debbie Zager, Donna Bitzelberger, Ann Jensen, Brenda Bowman and Beth Lineweaver, worked tirelessly on behalf of Verizon Wireless to help secure this major victory.
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