The French law firm Beaubourg avocats represented by attorney Elias Bourran filed a class action suit against the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, July 17, 2020.
This class action, which brings together some sixty plaintiffs, follows the criminal complaint filed on April 15, 2019, by the Phonegate Alert NGO and has since been monitored by the Public Health Unit of the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The plaintiffs purchased and used either the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 or the Mi Mix 2S. Two smartphones found by the French National Frequency Agency (ANFR) to exceed the regulatory levels of specific absorption rate (SAR) for the head and trunk, respectively.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is the first smartphone officially controlled in France and Europe for not respecting the exposure threshold aimed at protecting the health and safety of users from the thermal effects of the waves emitted by the device at head level.
For attorney Elias Bourran who represents the plaintiffs:
“By marketing non-compliant mobile phones, Xiaomi is accused of three offences: deception on the one hand, a deceptive commercial practice on the other hand and finally endangering the lives of others. The victims have joined together to file a complaint and are seeking, in addition to reimbursement of the telephone, damages and interest. »
For his part, Bruno Aguiar Valadao, Managing Director and co-founder of V for Verdict, which has made its platform for organizing collective legal actions available to the civil party of this complaint:
“We were able to follow the “painstaking work” carried out by the association Alerte Phonegate on the technical and scientific level and by the Beaubourg Avocats law firm on the legal level, in favour of the protection of the health of mobile phone users. We hope for the civil party that the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office is up to the challenge and that a judicial inquiry will be opened as soon as possible”.
For the association Alerte Phonegate and Dr. Marc Arazi, who were behind the revelations of the scandal in France and internationally:
“This first collective complaint in France shows that mobile phone users are ready to go to court to assert their rights to reliable information and protection of their health. It augurs well for many others against mobile phone manufacturers who are reluctant to make public health issues their priority, particularly in view of the development of 5G. »