USS Ronald Reagan Sailors to Refile Suit For Fukushima Radiation Poisoning

At least 71 sailors from San Diego-based carrier have reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co.

US Navy Photo

US Navy Photo

By Brandon Baker / EcoNews

After U.S. Navy sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan responded to the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan for four days, many returned to the U.S. with thyroid cancer, Leukemia, brain tumors and more.

UPDATE: Refiling put off due to increasing numbers of plaintiffs. Latest developments are here.

At least 71 sailors—many in their 20s—reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima Daiichi energy plant.

The men and women accuse TEPCO of downplaying the danger of nuclear radiation on the site. The water contaminated the ship’s supply, which led to crew members drinking, washing their bodies and brushing their teeth with contaminated water. Paul Garner, an attorney representing 51 sailors, said at least half of the 70-plus sailors have some form of cancer.

“We’re seeing leukemia, testicular cancer and unremitting gynecological bleeding requiring transfusions and other intervention,” Garner told New York Post.

Senior Chief Michael Sebourn, a radiation-decontamination officer assigned to test the aircraft carrier, said that radiation levels measured 300 times higher than what was considered safe at one point. Meanwhile sailors like Lindsay Cooper have contrasted their initial and subsequent feelings upon seeing and tasting metallic “radioactive snow” caused by freezing Pacific air that mixed with radioactive debris.

“We joked about it: ‘Hey, it’s radioactive snow!” Cooper said. “My thyroid is so out of whack that I can lose 60 to 70 pounds in one month and then gain it back the next. My menstrual cycle lasts for six months at a time, and I cannot get pregnant.

“It’s ruined me.”

Cooper said the Reagan has a multimillion-dollar radiation-detection system, but the crew couldn’t get it activated quickly enough.

“And then we couldn’t go anywhere,” she said. “Japan didn’t want us in port, Korea didn’t want us, Guam turned us away. We floated in the water for two and a half months.”

San Diego Judge Janis L. Sammartino dismissed the initial suit in late November, but Garner and a group of attorneys plan to refile on Jan. 6, according to Fox 5 San Diego.

Though publications like The Washington Times have wondered if the Navy and/or National Security Agency might have known about the conditions the sailors were heading into two years ago, Garner and the attorneys say the lawsuit is solely directed at TEPCO.

“We’re suing this foreign corporation because they are doing business in America,” co-counsel Charles Bonner. “Their second largest office outside of Tokyo is in Washington, D.C.

“This foreign corporation caused harm to American rescuers, and they did it in ways that give rise to jurisdiction here in this country.”


  1. avatar says

    Gangsters use grey hiring practices in Fukushima cleaning, Japanese Government remains silent – expert
    31 December 2013 Voice of Russia

    Homeless people are recruited by gangsters, who treat those homeless people as ‘disposable people’. It shields the clients, in this case Japanese Government from actually having any responsibility for those homeless people.

    Japanese Government is keeping mum about it because the whole system depends on it. The health liabilities, if this was admitted and talked about in Japanese Government actually accepted some responsibility, would be huge.

    Japanese Government has already said Fukushima cleaning will take 3 more years but the true cleanup of Fukushima is nearly impossible.

  2. avatar says

    Fukushima Government & Fukushima Medical University Signed Secrecy Pact With International Atomic Energy Agency
    January 1st, 2014 Tokyo Shimbun (Japanese newspaper)

    There has been ongoing suspicion about the openness and honesty of what has been ongoing in Japan.
    Tokyo Shimbun has confirmed that Fukushima Government and Fukushima Medical University entities did sign a secrecy agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency.
    Fukushima Medical University has been the main source of all public data on exposure and had been dictating what medical care many in the region were allowed to receive related to radiation issues.
    Both Fukushima Government and Fukushima Medical University have been the subject of growing distrust from the public due to their efforts to downplay problems and withhold information from the public.

  3. avatargooglesux says

    The only things the feds care about are the odds. It’s time to get even. Sue sue sue baby. This is just like when Monsanto invented Agent Orange for the government who then had it sprayed on our own soldiers in Vietnam to kill the trees so we could see the enemy better. They said yeah, it kills the trees, but it’s safe for people. Righhhhhhhhhtttttttt Now there are getting sued all the time because those soldiers are now getting all kinds of illnesses directly traced to agent orange. Wiki it. AND the whole reason we went to war with Vietnam in the first place was a complete lie. Look up Gulf of Tonkin on some video site, other than google or youtube, they are monitored by the NSA now.

  4. avatarjd says

    I was just curiouse about how to file a lawsuit for the people that live hear on the west coast that have to evacuate, how do we do that?


  1. […] Regarding the Lawsuit being filed against TEPCO buy the sailors of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan: This is true. The original filing was dismissed due to technicalities and is being refiled presently. It is hoped that facts will necessarily be brought to light which will avail the average citizen of the truth of the situation. The case may also set a precedent whereby U.S. nuclear power companies may be sued for cover-ups of health impacts from their operations.… […]