Oregon school district spends $172,000 fighting Wi-fi pseudoscience lawsuit

Wireless Waste: Portland schools have had to spend $172,000 fighting a parent’s lawsuit over Wi-Fi.

One year ago, the parent of a Portland Public Schools student sued the district with claims a new Wi-Fi network in his daughter’s middle school was poisoning her and potentially harming other students.

As WW reported, there’s no scientific evidence for such claims. The parent, David Mark Morrison, who works as a rare-book dealer, is part of a pseudo-scientific movement that claims Wi-Fi and related technologies cause everything from brain cancer to infertility to digestive complaints.

Most studies that adherents cite as evidence haven’t been published or peer-reviewed in reputable scientific journals. Some anti-wireless websites sell literature and protective charms, including amulets and crystals.

Portland Public Schools officials tell WW they have already spent $172,559 in public money to defend the district against Morrison’s claim that PPS’s Wi-Fi network has harmed his daughter.

Tip: Reddit/skeptic

Here is the earlier article from the same source about the lawsuit.

There’s virtually no scientific basis for the belief that Wi-Fi is a health threat. But the federal civil suit against PPS is the latest expression of anxiety by a growing community of Wi-Fi-phobic and self-diagnosed “electrosensitive” individuals who believe a laundry list of physical ailments can be traced to the proliferation of consumer electronics.

I’m at a loss as to how this person can show that his child was harmed by wi-fi when it is a ubiquitous thing and everyone is not sick.

Remember “sick building syndrome” and people afraid of microwaves? Same scares without any basis. This is a shame and an abuse of the legal system. Science doesn’t get decided in courts. There is not a basis for this nonsense and this lawsuit is at the expense of the students of this district.

  8 comments for “Oregon school district spends $172,000 fighting Wi-fi pseudoscience lawsuit

  1. June 24, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I don’t know why they spent that kind of money. He files the suit, a lawyer goes to court and says it is without merit, any sane judge is going to toss it. Sounds like the school district got caught in the lawyer protection racket, scare the client into a lot of expert witnesses, delays, depositions blah blah. We should have the British system, you file a suit and you lose, you have to cover the costs of the other side as well as your own.

  2. Ben Snell
    June 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Is the WiFi signal not simply radio waves?

    How do these people sleep at night knowing that there is electricity in the air?
    Should they not receive free psychiatric care as part of a national health plan?

  3. Richard Ancell
    June 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Psychiatry cannot cure ignorance, only enhance it.

  4. Ben Snell
    June 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Perhaps, but they might at least be discredited in that manner and barred from wasting education dollars on unscrupulous litigators, and frivolous suits. “There oughta be a law,” don’tcha think?

  5. Richard
    June 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    I bet the parent talks to her child by cell phone …..

  6. July 3, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    You are so correct. He files the suit, loses, he pays. End of story.

  7. Zep
    July 3, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Earth’s magnetic field is a MASSIVE magnet, causing “electrical signal” all the time everywhere, poisoning everything and everyone. That should surely give these parents brain damage!

    Hey, wait a sec…

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