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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
Sun May 6, 2012
Hanford whistleblower may not get jury trial
Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:00 pm
YAKIMA, Wash. – A Hanford whistleblower lawsuit is underway in federal court in Yakima. A former high-level manager on a nuclear treatment project is asking for a jury trial, but the judge hearing the case said Thursday that’s unlikely.
Walt Tamosaitis was helping to design a $12 billion waste treatment plant in southeast Washington. He claims that his employer called URS took him out of his high-level management position for raising safety concerns. Tamosaitis also alleges that a Department of Energy manager was involved in that decision. He wants his job back, damages from URS and a jury trial. It’s not clear that he’ll get the latter. Federal Judge Lonny Suko said he was skeptical of allowing a jury. But Tamosaitis’ lawyer, Jack Sheridan, says he’s still hopeful.
“We’ll just have to wait and see, but I think that when the judge has an opportunity to look closely at the case law, especially the Supreme Court precedent, it’s quite clear that a jury is required,” Sheridan says.
The Department of Energy and contractor URS argue they should be removed from the lawsuit altogether.
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