Phone mast pair in court over costs bill

Jan 23 2006

A couple who spent their life savings on a two-year battle with a mobile phone company are due to appear in court today for failing to pay thousands of pounds in legal costs.

Last year Agnes Ingvarsdottir, aged 61, and her 63-year-old husband Eirikur Petursson took legal action against Hutchison 3G to have a mast removed from the top of a pub two doors away from their Grade II listed home in Worcester.

The couple and their 42-year-old son Neils Erickson, who all moved to England from Denmark in 1999 to run a business designing and making air filtering systems, said they began to suffer from ill health when the mast became operational on the roof of the Little Sauce Factory pub.

A range of health problems including nausea and headaches forced them to sell their home in August 2005 for at least £50,000 less than its true value, they claim.

But they lost their case against the company and were ordered to pay its legal fees of £407,398 - a sum they could not afford after spending £300,000 on the case.

The cost was later dropped to nearly £109,000 but they were still unable to pay up. They are now due back in court in Birmingham to settle the dispute.

Mr Petursson said: "It seems Hutchison 3G wants to send a powerful message to anyone to say if anybody messes with them they will crush them and that is what they have done to us."

Mrs Ingvarsdottir has since set up a website for people in Europe who are suffering from the effects of living close to phone masts.


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