WASHINGTON – 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.