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U.S. Sailors' $1Billion Fukushima Lawsuit to be Moved Up on Calenda'

Apr 11, 2016

In the aftermath of a tsunami in Fukushima, Japan, sailors from the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, and land-based service members who were involved in humanitarian relief efforts, are claiming they were exposed to radiation during the meltdowns occurring after the disastrous event. The $1 billion lawsuit alleges the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is responsible for radiation injuries suffered by the responders due to the company's negligence, Law360 reports.

Within five years of the plaintiffs' radiation exposure, they have been experiencing health conditions, the motion said, such as various stages of cancer, and "other ailments associated with radiation exposure. With each passing month, appellees' conditions are worsening and many will most probably die before seeing a resolution to their lawsuit. For others, a prompt resolution will bring them the funds required to obtain specialized and advanced medical treatment that could, if employed early enough, save their lives," reports Law360.

The tsunami and earthquake struck Fukushima province on March 11, 2011. The sailors' lawsuit alleges that the Fukushima meltdown was avoidable, and that TEPCO's negligence for years prior to the event led to the complaints brought to the Ninth Circuit court.

"The government of Japan concluded that the meltdowns and subsequent release of radiation were caused solely by TEPCO's negligence in both its operation of the plant before the tsunami and in its response," according to Law360.

The Ninth Circuit granted the plaintiffs' request and announced that "the case will be calendared as soon as possible."

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