On December 27, Crewmembers from the USS Ronald Reagan filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in San Diego, California in an attempt to hold Japan accountable for any long-term damage they caused during “Operation Tomadachi,” the spring 2011 relief effort that sent sailors near the coast of Japan to assist in the days after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. The sailers are asking the state-owned Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for $10 million in compensatory damages, as well as another $30 million in punitive damages for fraud, negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, public and private nuisance and defective design, Courthouse News Service reports.
According to Courthouse News Service, the complaint states that "TEPCO pursued a policy to cause rescuers, including the plaintiffs, to rush into an unsafe area which was too close to the FNPP [Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant] that had been damaged. Relying upon the misrepresentations regarding health and safety made by TEPCO … the US Navy was lulled into a false sense of security."
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