French cancer sufferer starts Chernobyl legal suit
FRANCE: December 1, 2000
PARIS - A Frenchman who blames his thyroid cancer on the 1986 Chernobyl
nuclear disaster went to court on Thursday accusing French officials of
neglecting to take sufficient precautions against the subsequent
Yohann van Waeyenberghe, 32, believes he developed cancer because of the
radioactive cloud that passed over France after the nuclear power
station explosion in the then-Soviet Union.
"Why were people (in France) allowed to consume food with no precautions
being advised, whereas our neighbours, particularly the Germans, took
all the precautions required?" van Waeyenberghe's lawyer, Emmanuel
Ludot, told reporters.
Van Waeyenberghe's suit is against "persons unknown" and does not name
any specific official.
The public prosecutor urged the court on Thursday to throw out the case,
arguing that the accident happened so long ago that France's statute of
limitations has kicked in.
The Frenchman earlier this year sued three ministers for neglect over
the same affair. The special court, which is set up to hear cases
against government ministers, threw out the suit, saying it was
impossible to link his cancer to Chernobyl.
He has pursued his legal battle thanks to a medical report that said
there were "a number of arguments" that could link his thyroid cancer to
the 1986 disaster.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH Sysop / Moderator Occ-Env-Med-L MailList
gary.greenberg at duke.edu Duke Occupat, Environ, Int & Fam Medicine
OEM-L Maillist Website: http://occhealthnews.com