Family claims Wi-Fi made son ill, sues school for damages

Parents claim that the school’s Wi-Fi signals are severe and made their son sick

A lawsuit has been filed by the parents of a student at the Fay School in South Borough, claiming that the school’s Wi-Fi signal has caused the boy to become sick.

The parents, referred to as “Mother” and “Father” in the complaint, said their 12-year-old son suffers from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome, a condition that gets severe by electromagnetic radiation. According to the suit, the condition that causes headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, and other symptoms, was frequently being experienced by the boy while sitting in the class, after the school had installed a new, more powerful wireless Internet system in 2013.

However, the school in a statement said “Isotrope’s assessment was completed in January 2015 and found that the combined levels of access point emissions, broadcast radio and television signals, and other RFE emissions on campus ‘were substantially less than 1/10,000th of the applicable safety limits (federal and state).”

In 2014, the school hired company Isotrope, LLC, to analyze the radio communication signals and emissions.

The parents are asking for an injunction from U.S. District Court that would require the school to switch to Ethernet cable Internet, turn down the Wi-Fi signal in the boy’s classroom, or make some other accommodation, which the school has refused according to them. The suit also seeks $250,000 in damages.

John J.E. Markham, II, of Boston law firm Markham & Read, who is the boy’s family lawyer, on Monday said their main priority is to have the boy, a day student at the school, be able to attend Fay once classes begin again on September 9. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman, who is supervising the case last Friday scheduled a hearing for September 4 in Worcester for their motion for a preliminary injunction and requested for a fast track hearing.

“We’re trying to work with the school,” said Mr. Markham, who refuse to disclose any personal information about his clients citing privacy concerns. “We’re still hoping to reach a resolution that will allow him to safely be in those classrooms.”

According to the lawsuit, the family says that if the school does not provide their requested accommodations, they would have to withdraw their son from the school, something that they do not want to do.

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