U.S. Navy sailors sue Japan over nuclear accident

Story highlights

  • 8 sailors from an aircraft carrier allege they were sickened by radiation exposure
  • The disaster occurred in 2011 when a massive earthquake was followed by a tsunami
  • Officials were "lying through their teeth," plaintiffs' lawyer says
Eight U.S. Navy sailors who were aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier off Japan after last year's Fukushima nuclear accident have sued the Tokyo Electric Power Company alleging a series of failures, including lying.
The suit, filed December 21 in U.S. District Court Southern District of California, alleges that the sailors -- among some 5,500 who were aboard the USS Ronald Reagan as it was providing aid to the stricken zone -- were themselves sickened as a result of exposure to radiation that escaped from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP).
"They have physical problems," said Paul C. Garner, the plaintiffs' attorney, in an interview with CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego, the home port of the ship. "One of them is bleeding from his rectum; already, the others have problems with thyroid glands."
Garner described the illnesses as "major health issues" during a telephone interview with CNN.
"Our best and brightest -- who were hired to perform top service to our Navy -- went there to provide humanitarian tasks and did not want to bargain their health and well being," said Garner. "But the people running the power plant lied to them."