A few weeks ago, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the Navy sailors suffering from radiation poisoning after providing emergency relief to Japanese citizens in 2011 may proceed with a class-action personal injury lawsuit against several Japanese companies. The case stands to make a splash in the media as former Senator John Edwards is representing the plaintiffs.
If you remember correctly, Japan suffered a myriad of crises back in March of 2011. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the country and triggered a terrifying tsunami. When the tsunami hit the coast, it immediately began flooding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Due to a series of policy failures and oversights, the nuclear plant suffered a complete meltdown, exposing thousands of people to dangerous levels of radiation.
In addition to the numerous Japanese citizens exposed to radiation, thousands of U.S. Navy crew members suffered exposure as well. Sailors stationed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and 24 other ships engaged in an emergency relief effort called Operation Tomodachi. The mission was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and other forms of support to the Japanese citizens affected by the disaster.
The Radiation Poisoning Class-Action Lawsuit
As many as 75,000 U.S. service personnel and citizens might have been affected by radiation. The lawsuit brought forth by former Senator Edwards and his clients hinges on the fact that Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) criminally downplayed the severity of the situation and allowed people to continue working in an area with a critical level of radiation. The suit also names General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi as co-defendants.
In the five years since the disaster, U.S. service people have suffered horrible health effects of radiation poisoning, including “blindness, thyroid cancer, leukemia and brain tumors.” Shortly before the plaintiffs filed the suit in San Francisco, three former executives from TEPCO were found to be grossly negligent and criminally convicted in Japan. Their being held criminally liable bodes well for the U.S. plaintiffs.
Fighting for Personal Injury Victims
If you or someone you love has suffered a terrible injury due to the negligence of another individual or corporation, Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation can help. We provide effective personal injury attorney representation in Murrieta, Temecula, and throughout Riverside County. Call us today at (951) 489-3320 to schedule a free consultation.