In a potentially landmark case, an Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumor. In a ruling handed down on April 11 but only made public on April 20, the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension. Roberto Romeo, 57, had testified that his work duties obliged him to use his mobile for three to four hours of each working day for 15 years. His lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio said in a statement that for the first time in the world, a court has recognized a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumor. A medical expert estimated the damage to Romeo at 23 percent of his bodily function, prompting the judge to make a compensation award of USD542 a month to be paid by INAIL, a national insurance scheme covering workplace accidents.