Raw Story, By Arturo Garcia, December 29
A group of eight former and current U.S. Navy personnel have filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government-owned utility in charge of the failed Fukushima nuclear power plant, accusing government officials of “lying through their teeth” about the amount of radiation present during an American relief mission.
“I’m not what I used to be,” the lead plaintiff, Lindsay Cooper, told KNSD-TV. “My body’s not what it used to be while I was in the Navy. I’m having weight issues. My thyroid isn’t what it used to be.”
The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court, accuses officials of misleading the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan about radiation levels it encountered while carrying out “Operation Tomadatchi,” in which the ship delivered food and water to residents of the city of Sendai, which was hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to Fukushima’s meltdown, the worst nuclear-related disaster in the country’s history.
The ship, the suit said, was pushed into “an unsafe area.” After discovering the truth, the plaintiffs said they have experienced “considerable mental anguish” due to increased concerns over their risks of developing cancer and the potential impact on their life expectancy. Each plaintiff is seeking more than $10 million in damages.
US sailors sue Japanese utility over radiation exposure
Stars and Stripes, By Matthew M. Burke, December 27
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Eight sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan are suing Japan’s nationalized Tokyo Electric Power Co., claiming it lied about dangers from a radiation leak when they helped out after last year’s nuclear plant disaster and that they will almost certainly die prematurely as a result.
Their complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, seeks a jury trial and damages of $40 million each for being “rendered infirm” and their bodies being “poisoned” by radiation. It was filed on behalf of Lindsay Cooper, James Sutton, Kim Gieseking, Charles Yarris, Robert Miller, Christopher Bittner, Eric Membrila and Judy Goodwin.
The sailors allege a host of medical conditions, from headaches and difficulty concentrating to rectal bleeding and thyroid problems, as a result of the exposure and say they will have to undergo more medical tests and expensive treatments in the future, their lawyer Paul Garner said Thursday. The sailors also want TEPCO, which has an office in Washington, D.C., to establish a $100 million fund to pay for any of their future medical expenses.