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USS Reagan Sailors File $1 Billion Suit Over Radiation Exposure (Video)

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

USS Ronald Reagan crew members scrub the flight deck as a radiation countermeasure, March 2011.

Scores of USS Ronald Reagan crew members have filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the Japanese utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

The class-action suit, filed in federal court in San Diego, claims the utility lied about unsafe levels of radiation emanating from the plant after Japan's epic 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

A portion of the lawsuit, published by the Orange County Register, reads:

"TEPCO likewise hid, covered up, and negligently concealed these facts and falsely represented the true facts to the U.S. Navy. Plaintiffs suffered harms, damage, and suffered, and continue to suffer, life-threatening injuries as a result of TEPCO’s negligence.”

According to the OC Register, dozens of Reagan crew members have been diagnosed with cancer since participating in humanitarian efforts to help the Japanese people in 2011. Another sailor's child was born with birth defects.

The Associated Press reports a judge dismissed the Reagan sailors' first attempt to sue in 2012. That's because the initial suit named the Japanese government, which owns the utility in question.

The second lawsuit, with 79 Reagan sailors as plaintiffs, names just TEPCO as the defendant.

TEPCO has responded to the amended lawsuit, according to the A.P., saying in a statement:

"It's wholly implausible that military commanders in charge of thousands of personnel and armed with some of the world's most sophisticated equipment, relied instead only on the press releases and public statements of a foreign electric utility company."

As Home Post previously reported, the Reagan spent three weeks off the coast of Japan participating in a humanitarian mission called Operation Tomodachi. The crew provided food, water, medicine, and clothing to those left destitute by the earthquake and tsunami.

Two Reagan sailors who participated in Operation Tomodachi shared their health woes with CBS News in March of 2013. Here is their story:

Reagan Sailors Say Radiation Made Them Sick

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