San Diego Union Tribune, Dec. 18, 2013: A San Diego federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that U.S. sailors were exposed to dangerous radiation [but] left the door open for a follow-on lawsuit [...] saying it was beyond her authority to determine whether the Japanese government had perpetrated a fraud [...] Sailors represented in the lawsuit were deckhands who washed down the flight deck, and performed other decontamination tasks. Paul Garner, the Encinitas lawyer leading the case, said the sailors’ ailments include rectal bleeding, other gastrointestinal trouble, unremitting headaches, hair loss and fatigue. Some have thyroid and gallbladder cancer. Many are in their 20s. Garner said he will refile the case without alleging the conspiracy with the Japanese government. The number of plaintiffs is now at 51 people. Garner said he intends to add at least 20 more when he refiles. [...]
Japan Daily Press, Dec. 18, 2013: The lawsuit claimed that the power company’s officials lied about the amount of radiation leaking from the molten-down reactors of the plant, with the Japanese central government complicit in the lie. The U.S. personnel said that it was that information that was used by the U.S. Navy to calculate their operational safety, and the health risk on the sailors in the relief effort. [...] Garner said that he will be refiling the case, but this time minus the charges against the Japanese government. [...]
Charles Bonner, one of the attorneys representing USS Ronald Reagan service personnel, Nuclear Hotseat, Dec. 10, 2013: The 51 sailors that we represent right now have come down with a host of medical problems, including cancers, and leukemia, all kinds of gynecological problems, people with thyroid cancers, people who are going blind [...] tumors on the brain. These service men and women are young people 21, 22, 23 years old and no one in their family had ever (inaudible) any of these kind of illnesses before.
Daniel Hair, Petty Officer 3rd Class aboard the USS Ronald Reagan: [Around 5 months after 3/11 his] body began to betray him [...] his immune system began to attack his body. The diagnosis, he said, was a genetic immune system disease, which on X-rays looked to have made his hip joint jagged and his spine arthritic. [...] Other servicemembers have been diagnosed with leukemia, testicular cancer [...] “I live in pain every day. I went from this guy in top physical condition to a deteriorating body and a whacked-out mindset.” [...] no history of the genetic disease in his family and that doctors have told him radiation exposure could have triggered it.
Al Jazeera’s America Tonight, Dec. 17, 2013: Dozens of sailors who served on the nuclear powered super carrier USS Ronald Reagan are suing the owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. The sailors say they have cancer and say it may have been caused by their rescue efforts following the plant’s meltdown.
Published: December 18th, 2013 at 7:45 pm ET