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Woman Claims Parking Meter Radiation Illness

December 7, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Musculoskeletal Radiology, Neuroradiology
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We can’t imagine how we missed this at the time, but back in August, a woman charged that radiation from the new “smart” parking meters in Santa Monica, California, was making her sick. She filed a claim with the city asking for compensation of $1.7 billion. Yes, billion.

Plus another $1.7 million a month for as long as the meters remain installed.

The meters have sensors about five to eight feet away in the parking spaces themselves. When a car arrives or departs, the sensor communicates wirelessly with the meter, using radio waves in frequencies similar to those used by cell phones and wireless Internet routers. The city says the signals are weak and intermittent, triggered only when a car enters or leaves a space or when someone pays a meter with a credit card.

Nonetheless, the woman, Denise Barton, says the radiation from those signals is causing ringing and infections in her ears and tightness in her neckā€”in the back, on the left side. She apparently hasn’t found a doctor who will blame the symptoms on the smart meters. But she says her health problems began in April, shortly after Santa Monica began installing the meters. So therefore, it must be the meters.

Barton told the Santa Monica Daily Press that the amount of money she’s seeking is justified:

I know it seems a little big, but they can’t do things that affect people’s health without their consent. I think that’s wrong.

Daily Press reporter Ashley Archibald noted that Barton is “known amongst City Council regulars for her detailed reports during public comment sessions.”

So far, Santa Monica hasn’t paid the claim.

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