Sept 13 A security guard at the Indian Point
nuclear power plant in New York state sued the facility's owner,
Entergy Corp, for more than $1.5 billion for emotional
distress, claiming lax security at the plant.
Clifton Travis, who has been employed at the plant since
2008 and was still on the Entergy payroll, claimed in his
lawsuit that Entergy encouraged security personnel to play video
games and watch movies to keep them occupied during their
He alleged the company has not properly trained security
personnel on how to operate the computerized security system,
which he claimed fails repeatedly.
Travis, 47, also said the company was improperly storing
nuclear waste materials at the plant, and said the plant failed
a force-on-force drill, during which mock adversaries tested the
plant's security defenses.
Entergy said Indian Point has been judged a safe and secure
facility by the federal government and independent reviewers.
"Entergy has spent more than $100 million at Indian Point
since September 11 (2001) to secure the facility," Entergy
spokesman Jerry Nappi told Reuters. He declined to comment
directly on the lawsuit.
The suit was filed in the New York Supreme Court in
Westchester County on Sept. 11, seeking compensatory damages of
$20 million and punitive damages of $1.5 billion.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which oversees
the safety and security of the nation's nuclear facilities, said
it could not comment on the lawsuit, on specifics regarding the
plant's security program, or on any investigations it has
The NRC said it regularly inspects the security program at
the plant, including force-on-force exercises.
The NRC also said it conducts a program that allows plant
employees to raise concerns with the agency on an anonymous
basis. The NRC, however, declined to say whether Travis had
raised concerns with the agency since its allegations program is
NOT A NUISANCE SUIT
Travis' lawyer, Amy Bellantoni of Scarsdale, New York, said
punitive damages are designed to punish and deter a defendant.
She said Entergy makes about $4 million a day and "the only way
to hurt them is to hit them in the pocket."
Bellantoni said $1.5 billion represents about two years of
profits for Entergy, adding it was not a nuisance lawsuit,
noting her client was severely affected by the deterioration of
the safety at the plant.
She said Travis took a leave of absence from his job in
November 2011 due to the severe emotional impact on him.
While his doctor cleared him to return last March, Entergy
has barred him from returning to the plant.