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U.S. military personnel suing Tepco

AFP-JIJI

U.S. service members are suing Tokyo Electric Power Co. for more than $2 billion (¥190 billion), alleging the utility lied about the dangers of helping to clean up after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a U.S. military newspaper reported.

The case was initially filed by nine American military personnel in December but the number of plaintiffs has since expanded to 26 and another 100 are in the process of joining the suit, the Stars and Stripes paper said Thursday.

The new complaint was filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in California, a day after the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima crisis.

The plaintiffs include active duty and retired shore-based marines, their dependents and sailors from U.S. naval vessels that operated in the disaster area. They claim to have suffered a number of ailments linked to their exposure, including cancer, thyroid problems, and rectal and gynecological bleeding.

The newspaper reported that peers of the plaintiffs complain they are seeking an easy payoff and that the Pentagon insists the radiation they were exposed to did not pose a major health risk.

  • Spudator

    Well, it should be easy enough to determine whether the plaintiffs really do have radiation-related ailments. I seem to remember that, at the time of the disaster, the winds were carrying a lot of the radioactive material released by the reactors out to sea, so it’s conceivable that sailors on U.S. ships operating in the area would have been exposed to elevated levels of radioactivity.

    So the Pentagon is insisting that the service members can’t possibly have a case. No surprises there. Didn’t it also initially insist that Gulf War syndrome wasn’t real?

  • Ron

    sue, sue, sue-the American way

  • thedudeabidez

    A couple of the Navy personnel who are claiming exposure give their stories here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3wo_Xykg1E

    The second seaman’s story is pretty hard to refute as being radiation-related. What’s shocking is that the military allegedly had all sailors who were working downwind of Fuku-Daiichi when it blew its top sign off on forms saying they “agreed” they would not pursue claims of radiation exposure in the future.

  • e-ham

    easy way to make a few bucks, good luck marines !

  • yougotwhacked

    “They claim to have suffered a number of ailments linked to their exposure, including cancer, thyroid problems, and rectal and gynecological bleeding.”

    Cancer wouldn’t occur this quickly.

  • Masa Chekov

    What percentage of the economy is ambulance chasing lawyers these days?

    Everyone wants to get paid, I suppose.