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5G Cell Tower Caused 51 Strokes Alleges Woman Who Sues AT&T

In a groundbreaking lawsuit that resonates deeply with concerns about the health implications of modern technology, a Minnesota woman, Marcia Haller, is taking a bold stand against telecommunications giant AT&T and other companies, alleging that the radiofrequency radiation emitted by a nearby cell tower has caused her to suffer an astonishing 51 strokes. This legal battle, spearheaded by Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and spotlighted on March 11, marks a significant moment in the ongoing debate over the safety of wireless radiation and its recognition under federal disability law.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (Duluth), underscores a desperate plea for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a move that not only seeks justice for Haller but also aims to challenge the prevailing narrative around the safety of RF radiation. Miriam Eckenfels-Garcia, director of CHD’s Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) & Wireless program, articulates the dual purpose of the lawsuit: to secure relief for Marcia Haller and to advance the conversation on electromagnetic sensitivity, the potential harms of RF radiation, and the lack of legal recourse for those affected.

Haller’s ordeal began in 2019 following the “upgrade” of a cell tower near her home, a modification she and her husband, Jay, believe was intended for 5G deployment. The aftermath of this upgrade was a harrowing cascade of health issues for Haller, including life-threatening strokes, vision and hearing loss, chronic fatigue, and cognitive impairment, fundamentally altering the course of her life and career. The physical toll on Haller, once an aspiring nurse and a dedicated healthcare worker, paints a stark picture of the human cost associated with technological advancement.

The legal challenge posits that the companies responsible for the cell tower’s operation could, with minimal effort and expense, alleviate Haller’s suffering but have chosen not to do so. This accusation, coupled with the demand for injunctive relief to either relocate the tower or reduce its emissions, places the lawsuit at the heart of a much-needed discourse on corporate responsibility and the ethical deployment of technology.

Moreover, the case brings into sharp focus the personal stories behind the statistics, with Haller’s experiences serving as a poignant reminder of the potential consequences of unchecked technological expansion. The construction of a Faraday cage in their home, a desperate measure to shield Marcia from further radiation exposure, underscores the severity of her condition and the lengths to which individuals are forced to go in the absence of regulatory action or corporate accountability.

As this legal battle unfolds, it serves as a litmus test for the ADA’s applicability to cases of electromagnetic sensitivity and sets a precedent for future litigation in this emergent field of public health and civil rights. The outcome of Marcia Haller’s lawsuit against AT&T and other companies not only has the potential to reshape the legal landscape but also to influence the broader conversation about the balance between technological innovation and public health.


Children’s Health Defense (CHD), which is funding the lawsuit, filed the complaint on behalf of Marcia Haller, who previously told The Defender she became disabled shortly after the cell tower was “upgraded” in 2019.

In addition to suffering dozens of strokes since then, she’s suffered vision and hearing loss, headaches, sleep disruption, chronic fatigue and cognitive impairment. She also experiences ongoing issues with balance, orientation and mobility.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (Duluth), alleges the companies operating the tower must provide Haller with a “reasonable accommodation” and/or modify their “policies, practices or procedures” to comply with federal disability law.

In addition to AT&T, defendants in the suit include T-Mobile and American Tower.

This is CHD’s second lawsuit leveraging the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of individuals suffering from radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure.

“CHD is excited to file the second complaint in this strategic line of cases,” Miriam Eckenfels-Garcia, director of CHD’s Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) & Wireless program, said.

“We hope we will be able to help Marcia get relief, while at the same time, drive the conversation around electromagnetic sensitivity, RF radiation, and the lack of recourse for those harmed by cell towers forward,” Eckenfels-Garcia said.

The case draws attention to the need for better federal regulation of RF radiation and outlines the scientific evidence that debunks the “RF radiation is safe” narrative, according to Eckenfels-Garcia.

According to the lawsuit, Haller’s physician said that Haller’s symptoms — including “life-threatening embolic strokes” — occur when she is exposed to high levels of RF radiation or pulsated RF radiation, such as 5G.

“Her physical impairments already substantially limit major life activities … and RF exposure triggers and/or exacerbates her symptoms and condition,” the complaint said.

The companies could “easily and with minimal cost” take action to end Haller’s symptoms, “but they have refused to do so” — despite receiving a letter about her symptoms.

The suit asks the court to declare that the ADA applies to Haller’s situation. This would mean that the companies would be liable for discriminating against Haller because they failed to accommodate her disability.

It also seeks injunctive relief, meaning that it wants the court to order the companies to “end the discrimination” by either relocating their tower or reducing the amount of RF radiation it emits.

Haller is requesting a jury trial and compensation for attorney fees and costs.

Cell tower was likely ‘upgraded’ for 5G

Marcia and her husband, Jay, believe the cell tower was upgraded in 2019 for deploying 5G. “They [the companies] won’t admit to what they did,” Marcia told The Defender. “They say they don’t have to tell us.”

Marcia at the time was in her third semester of nursing school and worked as a certified nursing assistant at a hospital.

On the weekend after the upgrade, Marcia was at home and began feeling dizzy and as if something “just didn’t feel right.”

She called Jay, who runs a trucking business, telling him, “Something’s wrong in my head … I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel like crap.” But she told Jay she didn’t need him to come home. “I’ll be fine,” she said.

The physical sensation was “awful,” Marcia said. In addition to dizziness, she had headaches and nausea. “I couldn’t pick my head up off the pillow without the room spinning and feeling very sick.”

‘We think you’re having a stroke’

The symptoms continued. On Monday, she went to urgent care and was diagnosed with vertigo.

She returned home. A few days later, she had blind spots in her vision and tingling in her arm with “almost a numb feeling.”

Marcia called the on-call nurse center. They told her, “You need to come down to the emergency room. We think you’re having a stroke.”

An MRI of Marcia’s brain showed numerous damaged areas called lesions. She was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 10, 2019, and diagnosed with strokes, vision loss and balance difficulties.

After three days in the hospital, the strokes stopped happening — meaning MRIs of her brain showed no new lesions — and Marcia returned home.

But before the end of the month, Marcia “started feeling the same thing again” and went back to the emergency room.

Jay recalled, “We were home — the kid [Marcia and Jay’s son] and I — and she was cooking dinner … She turned around and her face had actually drooped on this one. It was like ‘uh-oh.’”

Marcia went back to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with more brain lesions. A neurologist told Marcia the MRI scan of her brain looked like a “starry night” because of how many white spots, or lesions, appeared.

The doctors still did not know what was causing them, she said.

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