By B.N. Frank
Duke Energy customers with medical statements in North Carolina don’t have to pay “opt out” fees to not have the utility company’s wireless transmitting “Smart” Meters on their homes (see 1, 2, 3). Unfortunately, it’s not only Duke Energy’s North Carolina “Smart” Meters that can make people sick.
All wireless transmitting “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – emit Electromagnetic Radiation (aka “Electrosmog”) which can make people and animals sick (see 1, 2, 3, 4). People worldwide have taken action against utility companies because of these meters (see 1, 2. 3). In 2015, The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) wrote a resolution requesting a nationwide installation moratorium because of health risks associated with them. The resolution also included a no-cost opt out program.
Thanks to Maine resident and activist Ed Friedman for filing a discrimination lawsuit against his utility for having to pay “opt out” fees to not have “Smart” Meters on his home.
Portland, ME, July 9, 2020 –Bowdoinham resident Ed Friedman filed a disability/discrimination
lawsuit against Central Maine Power (CMP) Tuesday in Portland’s U.S. District Court. The suit,
brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act (FHA) and
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act) alleges smart meter opt out fees are discriminatory to
those disabled customers whose condition may be exacerbated by emitted radiation from the
meters. Friedman has lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma, an uncurable form of cancer.
While most people are familiar with the ADA; the FHA specifically protects against
discrimination in the provision of housing services and the Rehab Act prohibits discrimination
by recipients of federal funding. CMP received $96 million in stimulus funding from the
Department of Energy for their smart meter project.
For Friedman, opting out of the smart meter program is not a choice. His doctor recommends he
not be exposed to any excess radiation in his home. According to Friedman’s oncologist,
exposure to even low-level radiation from the meters may exacerbate “fatigue, cognitive
difficulty, memory issues and multiple cancer types.”
In 2016 Friedman asked CMP to waive its’ opt out fees as their reasonable accommodation of his
disability. CMP declined, writing there was “no basis for compromise.” When he refused to pay
for the same access to safe electricity his neighbors without disabilities received without any
surcharge, CMP disconnected his power and he has been without utility service since.
CMP argued the opt-out fee is not discriminatory because they charge the same amount to
everyone. But Friedman’s lawsuit responds that “this is no excuse at all. Suppose a store has both
stairs and a wheelchair ramp, and it charges everyone a ‘stairs opt-out fee’ to use the ramp . . .
the store is illegally discriminating against wheelchair users who, by virtue of their disability,
require a ramp in order to access the store. This is true even if the store charges everyone the fee
to use the ramp.”
“If CMP is going to do business in Maine, they need to follow the laws of the land – including
those protecting their disabled ratepayers” said Friedman.
Mr. Friedman is represented by the Law Offices of Bruce M. Merrill and the Law Office of William Most.
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Tens of millions of electric, gas, and water “Smart” Meters have been installed in the U.S. and worldwide so it’s likely that you have them or you will be getting them VERY SOON. They are EXPENSIVE (see 1, 2), problematic, and unpopular everywhere (see 1, 2), Most (if not all) of the cost for their installation AND replacements have been and continue to be passed onto customers. There have been so many issues associated with them – including fires and explosions (see 1, 2. 3. 4) -that a documentary was produced about them in 2013 and then re-released with updates in 2017.
“Smart” Meters collect customer usage data 24/7 whereas original 1-way transmitting analog meters DO NOT. Utilities collect and analyze usage data so they can market more products and services to customers and/or sell it to 3rd parties a la “Surveillance Capitalism.” Disgusted yet?
Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter News
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
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