Sailors Seek Millions From Japanese Utility TEPCO Over Radiation Fears

The crew of the USS Ronald Reagan aided the Japanese in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that leveled the Fukushima nuclear plant and led to fears of radioactive contamination.

Sailors and their relatives have sued a Japanese-owned utility, accusing the company of failing to tell the truth about the dangers following the 2011 failure of the Fukushima nuclear plant, according to reports.

Stars and Stripes is reporting that a group of sailors from the Coronado-based USS Ronald Reagan have filed suit in San Diego's U.S. District Court alleging that because of misleading information released by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, their lives could be cut short because they were exposed to harmful levels of radiation. 

The aircraft carrier was dispatched to Japan to offer humanitarian aid in the wake of the March 2011 disaster, which was prompted by an earthquake and the resulting tsunami. 

Stars and Stripes named the plaintiffs – Lindsay Cooper, James Sutton, Kim Gieseking, Charles Yarris, Robert Miller, Christopher Bittner, Erik Membrila and Judy Goodwin. They range in age from 23 to 38.

They are seeking $40 million each in damages in the suit.

The Associated Press reports that one of the individuals named in the suit, filed Dec. 21, is a Reagan crew member's infant child, who was born after the disaster.

Stars and Stripes said the sailors complained of a number of ailments they have suffered after serving in Japan, including headaches, problems with concentration, rectal bleeding and thyroid issues.

The group also is urging the utility to set aside $100 million for a fund to reimburse them for medical expenses over their lifetimes.

Paul Garner, the sailors' Encinitas-based attorney, told Stars and Stripes the San Diego suit seems to be the first filed on behalf of U.S. military members who were involved in the humanitarian mission. TEPCO has entered agreements with Japanese victims of the disaster, promising them monetary aid for their suffering.

The , as the carrier nears the end of a major refurbishing project.

For more, see Stars and Stripes.


This story has been amended to reflect the correct name of one of the plaintiffs, Erik Membrila, which was misspelled in court documents.

Shorebird December 28, 2012 at 09:53 PM
and I hope they win
Loki December 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Rectal bleeding? Really? Maybe they were out too long ;) But seriously, Shouldn't the Navy have checked you & the environment with a Geiger Counter and given treatment or countermeasures as necessary? I believe they have the facilities and the know-how ... since the Reagan is a nuke. Probably even have "banana" suits and a decon station. And bringing the baby into it? I wonder which plaintiff schemed this one up. So much for Humanitarian Aid ... gotta get rich somehow :D
Mickey Mouse December 30, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Excellent...How these corp monsters like TEPCO and BP get away with some of these crimes against humanity is beyond comprehension. It only proves how deep int'l govt corruption runs.
Ed Sorrels December 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Now here is a law suit I can understand, These men and women were put in harms way by the failure to disclose correctly by the japanese, unlike the kook and her smart meter hunt for a payday. This one deserves some serious consideration along with some fact finding under oath !


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