Japan's Tepco gets slapped with new U.S.
lawsuit over Fukushima
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[August 24, 2017]
TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric
Power Co Holdings said on Thursday it has been hit with another lawsuit
filed in a U.S. court seeking $5 billion for compensation over the 2011
Fukushima nuclear disaster, the second filed against the utility in a
The suit filed by 157 individuals is seeking that amount to set up a
compensation fund for the costs of medical tests and treatment they say
they need after efforts to support the recovery from the world's worst
nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
The utility, known as Tepco, is being sued regarding improper design,
construction and maintenance, claiming compensation for physical, mental
and economic damages, the company said in a statement.
A multi-plaintiff lawsuit was filed on Aug. 18, 2017, against Tokyo
Electric Power Co and other parties in the Southern District Court in
California, the legal information group Justia said on its website.
Tepco has been hit with more lawsuits than in any previous Japanese
contamination suit over the meltdowns of three reactors at its Fukushima
Daiichi plant north of Tokyo after a massive earthquake and tsunami in
Radiation forced 160,000 people from their homes, many never to return,
and destroyed businesses, fisheries and agriculture.
In June, a federal appeals court cleared the way for a group of U.S.
military personnel to file a suit against Tepco over radiation exposure
that they say occurred during recovery efforts on board the USS Ronald
Tepco did not make clear whether the two suits involved the same
plaintiffs but Justia has two cases listed.
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Logo of the Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings (TEPCO) is seen on
helmets at TEPCO's South Yokohama Thermal Power Station in Yokohama,
Japan July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
Shareholders of Tepco are suing the utility's executives for a
record 5.5 trillion yen ($67.4 billion) in compensation, in a long
The company's former chairman and other executives of the company
appeared in court in June to answer charges of professional
negligence, in the first criminal case after the meltdowns at the
plant. They all pleaded not guilty.
The criminal and civil legal cases do not threaten financial ruin
for Tepco, which is backstopped by Japanese taxpayers. The company
faces nearly $150 million of costs to decommission the Fukushima
plant and clean up the surrounding area, according to the latest
Tepco shares fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday, in line with many of
Japan's other utilities, before the company announced the lawsuit.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick)
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