San Francisco, CA – Evidence from regulators and court victories for Tetra Tech EC continue to support the environemental engineering company’s position that it acted properly in remediating Hunters Point Shipyard. The latest victory came this week in a San Francisco Federal Courthouse.
United States District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. dismissed claims against Tetra Tech EC, Inc. in a federal lawsuit filed by a former employee who worked at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. In the order to dismiss issued June 25, Judge Gilliam confirmed the worker, Mr. Prometheus Dorsey, failed to meet the requirements for pleading his lawsuit against Tetra Tech EC. The order granting dismissal is attached.
Mr. Dorsey claimed that his work as a construction laborer at Hunters Point Shipyard between 2005-2014 exposed him to carcinogenic soils, leading to alleged physical injuries and emotional distress. Mr. Dorsey claimed shortness of breath and wrist pain as evidence of early signs of cancer, pulmonary illness, and/or bone and soft-tissue cancer.
Mr. Dorsey’s lawsuit did not state that Mr. Dorsey has been diagnosed with any form of cancer. His lawsuit sought $18 million in combined general and punitive damages from Tetra Tech EC, Inc. and Tetra Tech, Inc. for alleged violation of the Civil Racketeering, Influence, and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and for state law claims of fraudulent business practices, negligence, strict liability, and battery.
In ordering the dismissal of the civil RICO claim, Judge Gilliam found Mr. Dorsey failed to adequately plead his claim against Tetra Tech EC, stating “These sparse allegations cannot meet the heightened pleading requirements. . . ”. Although Mr. Dorsey is permitted to attempt to re-plead this claim, the Court expressed “some doubt as to Mr. Dorsey’s ability to state a plausible RICO claim.”
Mr. Dorsey also failed to establish Tetra Tech EC, Inc. engaged in the type of conduct which would have allowed him to bring his state law claims outside of California’s Workers Compensation Act. Instead, the Court concluded that the Workers Compensation Act provides the appropriate remedy. The Court’s ruling bars Mr. Dorsey from amending these claims.
The Court also dismissed all claims against Tetra Tech EC’s parent company, Tetra Tech, Inc., because Mr. Dorsey failed to allege any independent conduct or assumption of duties by Tetra Tech, Inc.
The lawsuit concerned the radiological cleanup work Tetra Tech EC performed for the U.S. Navy at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco.
“Tetra Tech EC is confident that its work at Hunters Point was done properly and to the standards of the contracts with its client, the Navy. The company has followed all internal procedures and regulations, and has been fully transparent with the Navy, and with regulators,” said spokesman Sam Singer of San Francisco Public Relations Agency Singer Associates.
The evidence continues to support Tetra Tech EC that allegations made in additional lawsuits against the company related to Hunters Point are false. To date, the additional following evidence has been presented by independent regulatory agencies that demonstrate that other lawsuits against the company by additional plaintiffs will fail:
–Just this month, June, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Radiologic Health Branch was requested by some residents and artists of Hunters Point Parcel A-1 to perform dust surveys of their homes and art studios due to concern that dust contaminated from previous radiological work performed by the Navy at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard may have blown into their homes or art studios. There were 76 survey sites, with a total of 226 dust swipes which were taken and analyzed. None of the dust swipe results showed evidence of any alpha or beta radiological contamination. A final survey report will also be available soon on the CDPH web site.
–Previously, the CDPH also completed a study of Parcel A at Hunters Point and found no health or safety risks. The CDPH also noted a single deck marker discovered from World War II did not cause any health risks: (https://sf.curbed.com/2019/2/6/18214286/hunters-point-radiation-california-department-public-health).
–S.F. Department of Public Health, http://www.sfexaminer.com/tests-find-no-evidence-health-hazards-hunters-point-shipyard-police-building/ Building 606, used as a crime lab by San Francisco Police, was found to be safe.
–A preliminary rejection of the plaintiffs’ attempt to have the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) strip Tetra Tech EC of its national license to do radiological clean-up work. The NRC said in its initial finding that there was no evidence to support the plaintiffs’ safety allegations.
Tetra Tech EC Hunters Point Website
For more information on Tetra Tech EC’s work at Hunters Point, please visit: www.hunterspointfacts.com
Jane Dixon is new to blogging in Oakland, but loves The Town!