Tumor and cell phone: the Court of Appeal of Turin indemnifies an employee

November 14, 2022

In a judgment dated November 2, 2022, the Court of Appeal of Turin confirmed the decision of the first instance, condemning INAIL [Instituto nazionale Assicurazione Infortuni sul Lavoro – National Institute for Work Accident Insurance] to compensate the victim of an intracranial tumor of the acoustic neuroma linked to the use of cell phones.

2H30 per day on his cell phone for 13 years

The victim is a man, 63 years old and now retired, who worked as a specialized technician for a company in the Valle d’Aosta. Between 1995 and 2008 he used his cell phone (on ETACS and then GSM) for more than 10,000 hours (from 10,361 to 13,687) – an average of 2.5 hours per day.

According to medical reports, the plaintiff suffers from left-sided deafness, facial nerve paresis, balance disorders and a depressive syndrome due to the tumor. The case brought before the court of Aosta recognized the causal link between the use of the cell phone and the appearance of the auditory nerve tumor.

A second victory on a worldwide scale

The Court of Appeal of Turin confirms the decision of the Court of Aosta which, in 2020, had condemned INAIL to pay him a monthly pension of about 350 euros for occupational disease.

This is the second time – worldwide – that a court has ruled in favour of a worker. In fact, in the first case, Romeo v. Inail, the judgment became final in 2020 since INAIL did not appeal in cassation.

A judgment based on scientific grounds

The scientific and medical debates at the Court of Appeal were led by Professor Roberto Albera. He is a titular professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Turin, and since 2009 has been the director of the SC Otolaryngology and director of the Department of Surgical Sciences of the University of Turin (2012-2018).

For the plaintiff’s lawyer, attorney Stefano Bertone – from the firm Ambrosio and Commodo:

“Detractors who at every court decision on mobile phones claim that the “judges take the place of science” will have to find a different argument: the 3 scientists of INAIL did not have convincing arguments for the 1 scientist appointed by the judges”

And Bertone adds in this interview with the Cosenza Channel:

‘Distance therefore remains the best friend of users and cell phones should never be kept in contact with the body’.

For Dr. Marc Arazi, who, in the Report program “Onda su Onda“, had participated in the RAI 3 broadcast in November 2018 to alert on the health scandal of Phonegate:

“Our NGO Phonegate Alert counts on the spirit of responsibility of companies and administrations to protect the health of their employees using cell phones and other connected objects in their daily work. This new Italian decision shows that their future responsibility is at stake!”

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