Judge Rules on Farmington Hills Couple's Smart Meter Lawsuit
Ralph and Donna Stenman removed the smart meter, which they said caused health problems while it was attached to their home.
An Oakland County judge has ruled, in part, against a Farmington Hills husband and wife who landed in court after removing a new DTE smart meter from their home, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.
Smart meters transmit data to meter readers who walk or drive by them.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Rudy Nichols on Nov. 30 granted a "partial summary disposition" and ruled that DTE has the right to come onto Ralph and Donna Stenman's property to do work, and that the couple is responsible for "the safekeeping of meter equipment," the Free Press reported.
In an affidavit, Donna Stenman said that the meter caused "nausea, severe headaches and insomnia" after it was installed on Sept. 1, 2011.
This past summer, DTE proposed an $87 fee, plus an additional $15 per month, for customers who want to opt out of the new electronic meters. Opponents say they cause health problems, interfere with cochlear implants and other electronic devices and raise concerns about data privacy. DTE Energy's website reports the new meters will lead to fewer estimated meter readings and virtually eliminate the need for a meter reader to come onto a customer's property to read meters.
The Michigan Public Service Commission has not yet ruled on DTE's plan to charge those who wish to opt out of the meters.