Hanford Whistleblower Files Lawsuit

Hanford Whistleblower Files Lawsuit »Play Video

TRI-CITIES -- A Hanford engineer filed a lawsuit Monday in Benton County Superior Court against two Hanford contractors, Bechtel National and URS Corporation. The contractors were hired by the Department of Energy to design and build the Waste Treatment Plant. The lawsuit alleges the contractors conspired to ignore safety concerns brought up by the engineer.

That whistleblower is Doctor Walter Tamosaitis. In the lawsuit, the he alleges Hanford contractors conspired to fire him after he brought up safety concerns at the Waste Treatment plant.

Tamosaitis claims he was silenced so they could meet a Tri-Party agreement deadline where a $6 million bonus was on the line.

On Monday, his lawyer spoke with Action News.

"We can't afford to sit quiet when the culture is changing back to the old way when you stand up and complain about safety you're fired," said the defendants attorney Jack Sheridan.

Action News reached out to Bechtel reps for their side,  we have not heard back as of news time.

The trial isn't expected for another year. In the meantime, Tamosaitis still works for the contractors but has been removed from working on the site.

That attorney is familiar with whistleblowers at Hanford.

In a landmark decision five years ago, a jury sided with local pipefitters who claimed they were fired after speaking up about safety concerns.

They got more than $4.8 million in damages and were also represented by the attorney in this latest case.

Click here to look at the entire lawsuit filed Monday.