Cell phone lawsuit is rooted in greed rather than...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 01, 2001

Cell phone lawsuit is rooted in greed rather than evidence

Before Peter G. Angelos walks into the courtroom, he needs to get his legal argument straight ("Angelos files class actions against cell phone firms," April 20).

First Mr. Angelos joined a lawsuit claiming cell-phone use caused a Baltimore man to develop brain cancer. Now, he has filed a massive class-action lawsuit claiming that the dangers of cell-phone use are only a possibility, but customers should be compensated anyway.

Courtroom strategy aside, the scientific merit of both suits is weak. Numerous studies continue to show no connection between cell-phone use and cancer.

Mr. Angelos may be confused about which legal argument will earn him the most money, but one thing is clear -- efforts should be focused on research into this important issue, not more litigation.

Nancy H. Hill

Annapolis

The writer is executive director of Maryland Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

One thing you have to admire about Peter G. Angelos is that he never lets the facts interfere with his profit-making. The fact that there is not any scientific proof to support claims that cell phones can cause cancer isn't of the least interest to his attorneys; they are looking only at the potential to line their pockets, again.

But, as in all other class-action suits, the public will get pennies and the Angeloses of the world will get wealthier. And guess who will foot the bill in higher prices and reduced dividends to stockholders? The same wireless phone users Mr. Angelos is so generously helping out.

Why don't we all just send him a check and cut out the middle man?

Carl S. Bice

Bel Air

Supreme Court's ruling gives officers too much discretion

It is outrageous that the court would give such authority to law enforcement officers ("Court allows arrest, jail in minor crimes," April 25) when so many problems exist already with police discretion for traffic stops (i.e., racial profiling). This opens the door for many more abuses by officers who have checkered backgrounds.

The world that I live in is one of growing resentment toward government at all levels, where the stage is set for expressions of outrage that often turn violent (such as the riots in Cincinnati).

In the event that takes place in a city such as Baltimore or Chicago, police would lose hands down and a lot of innocent life would be sacrificed.

Why on Earth would the court give people additional reasons to mistrust officers?

Jonathan R. Burrs

Baltimore

How ironic that The Sun would run an article about police chiefs viewing the Holocaust Museum to understand how a once free country can become a fascist police state ("Police get somber reminder of duty," April 24), while on the same day the Supreme Court decided police can arrest anyone, anytime for any reason.

It sounds like it's not just the police who need the Holocaust Museum's program.

William Smith

Baltimore

Blame the politicians for submarine debacle

The real culprit in the USS Greeneville submarine debacle is not Cmdr. Scott Waddle or the U.S. Navy, but politicians who believe in rewarding big cash contributors by entertaining them on very expensive military equipment at great cost.

It is much safer and cheaper to let big donors sleep in the Lincoln bedroom at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Ona Lyman

Aberdeen

Those receiving assistance shouldn't be complaining

Kate Shatzkin's article "Hurry up and wait" (April 11) depicted the long wait many citizens endure waiting to see a caseworker at the Department of Social Services.

For the many seniors and severely ill who need assistance, the wait could be minimized if those abusing the system would stand that long in a line applying for a job or in a line at the local health department to obtain birth control.

Perhaps before the clients that complain about only receiving $318 in food stamps every month for a family of eight, they should consider that my family of five, with two working parents, only spends $250 a month on groceries.

This is what I'm left with after day care expenses and taxes. Now who should be complaining?

Jennifer Bailey

Dundalk

Safe and Sound program inspires commitment to youth

Reading Alice Lukens' article "Progress of effort still not obvious" (April 8) caused us to reflect on the remarkable accomplishments of the Safe and Sound Campaign.

As a direct result of Safe and Sound, the Baltimore Community Foundation created A-Teams for after-school activities. Knowing that Safe and Sound had developed research-based standards for these activities, BCF was able to invest $2.1 million in A-Teams with confidence.

Most important, BCF volunteers were inspired by A-Teams to reach beyond the usual foundation "start-up investment" mentality and insist on a long-term commitment to this city's young people.

That's what Safe and Sound is about: inspiring us all to make that commitment and offering a strong framework of crucial goals and standards upon which we can hang our efforts on behalf of young people.

Walter D. Pinkard

Thomas E. Wilcox

Baltimore

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