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BREAKING! German Court rules Landowners who host Mobile-Phone Masts can be held liable for EMF health-damages
Germany Created: 30 Jun 2022
The court confirms that not only the mobile phone system operator (as the so-called disruptor) is liable for damage caused by his system operation, but also the property owner (as the so-called disruptor) who makes his property available for the operation of the system. In the event of damage, this can be claimed by third parties in the same way as the system operator. And because the municipality and its representatives could/should have known that, their lawsuit for the termination of the tenancy was dismissed. [1] Very few municipalities and landowners who rent or lease their land for the operation of mobile communications systems are likely to be aware of their own liability risk.

(Article machine-translated from German)

The liability risk for landlords is not just theoretical

Lawyer Krahn-Zembol writes:

"Since even official bodies such as the European Parliamentary Research Service (STOA) of the European Parliament [3] point out that the limit values ​​in the area of ​​electromagnetic radiation fields are at least 10 times too high, owners when concluding a contract with a cell phone system operator do not just theoretical liability risk.

In the meantime, almost 1,000 scientific studies out of more than 1,600 scientific studies in the field of mobile communications have documented biological effects and harmful effects below the long outdated limit values ​​of the 26th BImSchV. Even the cell phone system operators have been warning their shareholders in their annual reports for years against further state regulations [4] .

In addition, the plant operators themselves have insured comparatively small amounts of liability [5] . Should municipalities nevertheless conclude a contract, they would have to ask themselves whether and to what extent provisions should be made from the municipal budget for this liability risk. The whole thing is reminiscent of the extensive (even legal) exemption of nuclear power plant operators, who would only be liable for up to € 250 million even in the event of a worst-case scenario (GAU). (...)"

Limit values ​​do not generally protect against liability claims

“Even if the plant operators repeatedly argue that they comply with the limit values ​​of the 26th BImSchV during plant operation, liability on the part of them or the owners is by no means excluded. On the contrary, the Federal Court of Justice has stated several times that producers or plant operators cannot exonerate themselves by referring to compliance with official limit values ​​if they are accused of further damaging effects and the like. are known or should have been known [6] . This is already obvious today in view of the fact that even the scientific study situation predominantly proves further effects and harmful effects below the limit values ​​of the 26th BImSchV.

Since even the head of the office for technology assessment at the German Bundestag, Prof. A. Grunwald, pointed out that the intended introduction of new radio technologies with significantly higher frequencies without a previous technology assessment is irresponsible [7] , this also creates a not inconsiderable risk of liability clear."

In the present case, the court made it clear that the municipality is contractually liable for 30 years (!) in this case. It also has to bear all the new dangers and risks that can be exponentially increased by upgrades and new radio technologies! The fact that it is part of the operators' business model to provide mobile phone coverage " deep into the house " makes things even more critical, because higher and higher frequencies also require higher overall transmission power from the mobile phone systems and the radiation exposure for the entire population thus increases overall .


EMF-related damage is not insurable

For many years, diagnose:funk has been pointing out the limited liability of mobile phone operators and the associated risk for the site lessor. As far as we know, mobile phone operators generally cannot insure themselves against potential damage to health from the electromagnetic fields/radiation emitted by their systems. From the operators themselves it is said that they would very well be able to rule out the liability risk - but they did not want to present corresponding insurance cover in the above-mentioned court proceedings, as RA Krahn-Zembol writes.

diagnose:funk recommends clarification and concrete contract content

Educate your community and potential landlords about this liability risk . [8th]

Potential landlords of a piece of land/property should make sure that the lessee agrees to accept liability for all liability claims in an individual lease agreement, up to an unlimited amount.

"The lessee releases the lessor from all third-party claims arising from the construction, operation or dismantling and otherwise from the use of the leased property."

It is definitely not enough for a contract to be concluded if e.g. For example, the press spokesman for Deutsche Telekom responded cryptically to the question of existing insurance cover for his systems:

"Deutsche Telekom maintains a liability insurance program that appropriately insures the risks of the group's business operations" [9]

See also guide 4. 'Municipal fields of action'from page 67 or online >>> .


[1] In the judgment handed down by the District Court of Münster, AZ: 08 O 178/21, it says on page 11, 2nd and 3rd paragraph: "Insofar as the plaintiff wants to derive the incalculability of her own liability risk from the fact that she did not know this when the contract was concluded wants to have that she herself is liable as a person disturbing the state of affairs, she cannot get through with that. As a public body, the plaintiff as a municipality must be sufficiently aware of its own condition. A possible obligation of the defendant to provide information, which it did not comply with, as claimed by the plaintiff, does not result from this. Any ignorance of one's own liability is based on one's own fault and not on the defendant's fault."

[2] Reinsurers warn their customers to insure cell phone operators against EMF damage – the damage potential cannot be calculated. https://www.diagnose-funk.org/655 , https://www.diagnose-funk.org/1412 ;

[3] See the full STOA study by the European Parliamentary Research Service, July 2021 at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2021/690012/EPRS_STU(2021)690012_EN.pdf

[4] For example, in Telekom’s 2017 Annual Report, under the heading “Health and Environment” it says: “There is a risk of regulatory intervention, such as lowering the limit values ​​for electromagnetic fields or the implementation of precautionary measures for mobile communications...” .

[5] In the judgment handed down by the District Court of Münster, it says on page 11, paragraph 3: "Insofar as the plaintiff bases what she considers to be an unreasonable liability risk on a partial limitation of the defendant's liability, this does not lead to any other result.".

[6] e.g. BGHZ 81, 199, also in detail: Krahn-Zembol, “Germany: product liability risks for EMF-emitting systems and devices”, product liability international 6/93, pages 204 to 210.

[7] diagnose-funk, article: "5G like a real experiment on humans".

[8] Especially for municipalities that intend to conclude a contract with a plant operator, it should be noted that the district court of Münster found in its judgment that no reason for termination is to be seen in the fact that the municipality is aware of the further possible health hazards below the limit values ​​​​of the 26th BImSchV were not sufficiently evident at the time the contract was concluded. This is what it says on page 12, last paragraph and page 13 at the top of the judgment:“As a public corporation, the plaintiff is not a particularly vulnerable private individual. According to her own presentation, not only have the discussions about possible health hazards from mobile radio systems, even if the limit values ​​of the 26th BImSchV are observed, not only been public for many years, but (there) were "scientifically justified doubts" even before the contract was signed. In this respect, the plaintiff municipality must accept the knowledge of its then mayor. The risk of an incorrect assessment of the political effects of the decision made by the plaintiff is part of its own area of ​​responsibility and risk, which it cannot pass on to the defendant as a contractual partner with the help of information obligations.".

[9] According to Merkur.de, 08/08/2020; https://www.merkur.de/lokales/weilheim/weilheim-ort29677/5g-telekom-wehrt-sich-gegen-oedp-brief-90022476.html

(Published with the kind permission of attorney W. Krahn-Zembol)
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Diagnose-Funk, 28 Jun 2022

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