More than $500,000 was awarded to two plaintiffs by a federal jury in Spokane, Washington for thyroid cancer which the jury agreed was caused by radiation from the Hanford nuclear installation, a plant which produced weaponsÃ grade plutonium for approximately 40 years.
The plaintiffs claimed that they had been exposed to radiation in the 1940s while living downwind from the 560-square-mile Hanford site which is located near Richland, Washington. Presently, the site is in the midst of a $50-$60 billion cleanup that will not be completed for another 30 years. The same jury deadlocked as to a third plaintiff and found against three others with thyroid-related autoimmune disorders.
Approximately 2,300 additional plaintiffs have similar claims against the three contractors that ran the plant (General Electric Co., DuPont, and UNC Nuclear Inc.) Any damages and defense costs are being paid by the federal government.