Hanford whistle-blower Walt Tamosaitis will return to federal court after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that his case against the primary subcontractor at the Hanford vitrification plant was wrongly dismissed.
The 9th Circuit also said he is entitled to a jury trial, contrary to a June 2012 ruling by U.S. Judge Lonny Suko, who later that year dismissed Tamosaitis’ case against URS Energy and Construction.
“We are anxious to get into court as soon as we can,” said Tamosaitis’ attorney, Jack Sheridan.
The lawsuit will continue with only URS, Tamosaitis’ former employer as a defendant, after the 9th Circuit also ruled that the dismissal of the Department of Energy from the lawsuit was appropriate.
Tamosaitis maintains he was removed as the research and technology manager of the $12.2 billion vitrification plant project after saying that more time was needed to resolve complex technical issues, which would have jeopardized a $6 million payment from DOE to Bechtel.
Bechtel and URS have strongly disagreed, saying he had completed his work and also had sent inappropriate emails discussing the issue.