In granting a request from a group of U.S. sailors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has agreed to speed along a lawsuit over radiation injuries stemming from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. According to Law360, the plaintiffs asked the court to expedite the process because many members of the class are “suffering and dying”.
The $1 billion lawsuit is filed against Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), who owns the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant which suffered a meltdown during a tsunami. According to the suit, the plant would have been able to sustain the disaster if not for TEPCO’s negligence in the years preceding. The plaintiffs filing the lawsuit are a group of sailors who suffered various radiation injuries, such as cancer, after helping in the humanitarian effort.
“The balance of appellee service members are experiencing various stages of cancer and other ailments associated with radiation exposure,” the motion said, according to Law360. “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 treatments that could, if employed early enough, save their lives.”
The appeals court has granted the request, and stated in a brief order that the case would be processed “as soon as possible.”