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8 sailors sue Japanese firm after nuke meltdown

The carrier Ronald Reagan arrives in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 2011 after assisting in relief operations in Japan. Credit: Mass Communications Specialist Dustin Sisco / U.S. Navy.

The carrier Ronald Reagan arrives in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 2011 after assisting in relief operations in Japan. Credit: Mass Communications Specialist Dustin Sisco / U.S. Navy.

Eight sailors from the Coronado-based carrier Ronald Reagan are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. for allegedly lying about the danger from radiation caused by the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant, according to Bloomberg News.

The ship was involved in disaster relief operations after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that led to the nuclear catastrophe and left devastation in regions of Japan.

Each of the eight is seeking $10 million in damages, $30 million in punitive damages and creation of a $100 million fund to pay for medical testing and treatments, according to a complaint filed in U.S. federal court in San Diego, the news service reported.

The Japanese government was “lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdown” when it assured the crew that everything was under control, the plaintiffs’ lawyer said in the complaint. “The plaintiffs must now endure a lifetime of radiation poisoning and suffering.”

The company declined comment, according to Bloomberg. The nuclear-powered carrier’s homeport is North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado.

—— Story by Los Angeles Times reporter Tony Perry

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