FRANCE: Recognition of electromagnetic hypersensitivity as an occupational disease

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By a ruling of 17 January last, the Cergy-Pontoise administrative tribunal ordered the public organization which is the employer, to recognize the electromagnetic hypersensitivity of a research technician as due to service, which for civil servants is equivalent to recognition as an occupational disease.

According to Sophie Pelletier, president of PRIARTEM, “It’s the first time that the administrative court – which deals with the cases of civil service employees – has given a favourable ruling on this issue. And the icing on the cake is that for the first time in France a court decision recognizes intolerance to electromagnetic waves as a disease attributable to work”. This decision comes after a long battle by the employee, suffering from neurovegetative disorders. He fell ill ten years ago after working for two years on a device emitting strong electromagnetic fields.

According to Me Lafforgue, the plaintiff’s lawyer and also the lawyer for PRIARTEM, the decision handed down by the administrative tribunal is extremely substantiated: “Based on the grounds that we have outlined, the judges have considered that there was a sufficient probability that, in the absence of any other obvious cause, the chronic and prolonged exposure and heightened sensitivity of the subject allowed them to conclude on the disease’s imputability to service”.

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