USS Reagan Sailors Sue Japanese Utility Over Radiation Exposure

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U.S. Navy

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 19, 2011) Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) load humanitarian assistance supplies onto an HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Black Knights of Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.

Several crew members from the USS Ronald Reagan are suing a Japanese utility over radiation exposure. The lawsuit claims Tokyo Electric Power Company lied about the levels of radiation in the atmosphere following the March 2011 earthquake, according to the Associated Press.

The Reagan participated in the humanitarian mission called Operation Tomodachi - bringing food, water, and medical supplies to the people of Japan.

The eight Sailors filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Diego last week. (The Reagan was homeported in San Diego at the time of Operation Tomodachi, but is currently based in Washington state.)

The lawsuit claims the Japanese government, which owns the utility, lied about the amount of radiation leaking from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, putting the Reagan Sailors at risk. Bloomberg News quotes the lawsuit as saying:

“The plaintiffs must now endure a lifetime of radiation poisoning and suffering.”

Those plaintiffs are each seeking $10 million in damages and $30 million in punitive damages. In addition, the lawsuit calls for the the creation of a $100 million fund to pay for the plaintiffs' medical treatment and monitoring.

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