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Navy Sailors Try Again On Fukushima Lawsuit

December 30, 2013
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Several dozen Navy sailors who blame health problems on exposure to radiation from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant will try again on their lawsuit against the plant’s owner.

Their lawyer, Paul C. Garner of Encinitas, California, said the 71 plaintiffs suffer from a wide range of maladies:

Leukemias, bleeding, thyroid problems, polyps, testicle removal, optic nerve removal. And the list goes on and on, unfortunately.

Garner was quoted in a Navy Times story last week. A federal judge in San Diego dismissed the original lawsuit on November 26. The U-T San Diego newspaper reported that the judge ruled  she had no authority to determine whether the Japanese government had perpetrated a fraud on the U.S. government. But she indicated that she would entertain an amended lawsuit. Garner said he would file one by the January 6 deadline.

The sailors all served aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan during its three-week deployment in March and April 2011 off the Japanese coast near the earthquake- and tsunami-damaged power plant. The Reagan provided humanitarian aid. Sailors taking part in the lawsuit scrubbed the flight deck and performed other decontamination duties.

The lawsuit targets the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). “What we say is this,” Garner said. “The TEPCO people knew what was happening there. They certainly knew the severity of what was happening, because now you have radiological releases into the environment. … And the tsunami just washed it all in and washed it all out, and the Reagan was in the backwash.”

Navy spokesman Lieutenant Greg Raelson said the sailors weren’t exposed to enough radiation to damage their health. “For perspective,” he said, “the worst-case radiation exposure for a crew member on USS Ronald Reagan is less than 25 percent of the annual radiation exposure to a member of the U.S. public from natural sources of background radiation.”

Garner, the lawyer, said he shouldn’t have to prove that the radiation caused the health problems: “It just seems to me that based upon Chernobyl and everything that occurred there … that it should really be a situation where the naysayers have to demonstrate that it did no harm to these people.”

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Molested during a mammogram? That’s what a lawsuit claims. For details, see our Facebook page.

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One Response to “Navy Sailors Try Again On Fukushima Lawsuit”

  1. Utsattes sjömännen på USS Reagan för höga stråldoser? | Kunskapscentrum för strålningsmedicin vid katastrofer (KcRN) on January 30th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    […] hävdar, enligt Radiology Daily, i alla fall 71 av dem som var med när hangarfartyget i mars 2011 stävade mot Japan för att […]