Fluor Hanford, Inc. and its parent corporation, Fluor Corporation (collectively “Fluor”) headquartered in Texas have agreed to settle a qui tam suit. The lawsuit was initially brought by Loydene Rambo, a former Fluor employee, in 2011 under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
The settlement resolves allegations relating to Fluor’s contract with the Department of Energy to provide a variety of services at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State. Part of the contract involved the operation and management of the Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response (“HAMMER”) Center. The HAMMER Center, a training facility for Hanford Nuclear Site workers, emergency personnel, first responders and law enforcement personnel, is funded with federal monies.
The Complaint alleged that contrary to its certifications to the Department of Energy, Fluor utilized federal funds to lobby Congress and other government officials to increase funding for the HAMMER Center. The whistleblower alleged that Flour’s actions were a misuse of federal funds and violated the False Claims Act.
The Justice Department announced that Fluor has agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve the allegations. As her reward under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, Ms. Rambo will receive $200,000 of the settlement amount.