A recent case heard in the Italian courts may be influential in changing the approach employers have to work related mobile phone use. Mr. Roberto Romeo won an award for damages against his employer arising from the fact that Mr. Romeo's brain tumour was caused by prolonged use of a mobile phone for work related purposes.
Mr. Romeo was obliged to have brain surgery for the removal of the tumour which rendered him deaf in his right ear. The court accepted that the constant requirement to use a mobile phone over a period of 15 years had caused the brain tumour.
The convenience of mobile phones means that thousands of employers contact their workers on mobile phones but the risks that extensive and prolonged usage apparently poses will inevitably mean that employers may have to think again about how to communicate to avoid extreme consequences to their employees.
In 2011, IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer) had listed mobile phones under the 2b category, recognising the potential damages caused by a prolonged mobile phone usage. "It is a symptom of the advancements of scientific knowledge that courts are now awarding compensation to victims of the negative impact of mobile phones on health" stated Mr Romeo's lawyers.
Mr Romeo's case is unfortunately not an isolated one. Dozens of people affected by the prolonged use of mobile phones at the place of work are currently facing legal battles to receive the compensation they are entitled to.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.