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Italian court finds link between cellphone use and tumour

Man talking to cellphone

A longtime Telecom Italia employee has been awarded monthly social security payments after a court found that his brain tumour was caused by improper use of a company-issued cellphone.

Lawyer Stefano Bertone said Thursday that it was the first trial court verdict of which he was aware “to recognize a link between cellphone use and the development of brain tumour.”

Bertone says the employee, Roberto Romeo, used the company cellphone for three hours a day for 15 years without taking any precautions, resulting in the non-cancerous tumour and the subsequent loss of hearing in one ear.

Romeo sued the state social security agency, not Telecom Italia, where he still works.

Under last month’s ruling, Romeo will receive between 6,000 and 7,000 euros ($6,000-$7,500) a year.