U.S. sailors sue Japan over radiation exposure

SAN DIEGO — Eight U.S. sailors are suing the Tokyo utility that operates the Fukushima nuclear power plant, charging that the company lied about the high level of radiation in the area where they were carrying out a humanitarian mission after the tsunami that triggered the reactor crisis.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego last week against Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is owned by the Japanese government. Plaintiffs include the infant daughter of two of the sailors who was born seven months after the March 2011 disaster.

The sailors served on the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which was carrying out “Operation Tomadachi” ferrying food and water to citizens in the city of Sendai in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.

The sailors claim the Japanese government repeatedly said there was no danger to the carrier crew “all the while lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdowns” so rescuers would “rush into an unsafe area.”

The U.S. Navy, the suit said, relied on information from the Japanese government, which only belatedly admitted that radiation had leaked into the atmosphere from the damaged power plant.

An email seeking response from the utility’s corporate office in Tokyo was not immediately returned.

The 37-page suit, which cites numerous reports about the Fukushima crisis and response, said that after discovering the truth of how much radiation they were exposed to, the sailors have undergone extensive medical testing and will be required to undergo periodic examination in the future.

They say they are at risk for developing cancer and a shorter life expectancy, and are undergoing considerable mental anguish as a result.

The sailors are suing for more than $100 million in damages.

More in Local News

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Lives were on the line

After an estimated 350K emergency calls over 35 years, dispatcher Steve Williams is set to retire.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Most Read