A superior court judge in Benton County, Wash., has ruled that a whistle-blower lawsuit by an employee at the Hanford nuclear site against contractors Bechtel National and URS Corp. can move forward in May 2012. Walter Tamosaitis claims that, last July, he was removed from his role as technology manager for raising safety issues on the $12.2-billion waste vitrification plant project at the U.S. Energy Dept. site. Bechtel is the contractor. He now is employed by URS, its subcontractor, but in a lesser role, he says. Jack Sheridan, an attorney for Tamosaitis, says the court is set to decide on
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.