Friday, April 1, 2011

GE Likely to Avoid Liability in Japan Nuke Crisis

The Japanese nuclear crisis has created a public-relations headache for General Electric, but the company so far has escaped any legal fallout, and many experts expect it will continue to do so.

GE designed the Mark 1 containment systems used in reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and after a magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami devastated northeast Japan on March 11, vessels intended to protect the reactors came under severe stress amidst explosions and fires and may have leaked radiation.

In the three weeks since the disaster, no lawsuits are known to have been filed against Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE either in Japan or in the United States. While GE could face lawsuits in the future, of course, any potential plaintiffs would have to overcome high hurdles, according to a wide array of legal experts, including nuclear law specialists and lawyers who represent plaintiffs and defendants in mass-tort litigation. (read more)