Top 100 federal contractor Fluor Corporation got a dose of Texas justice this week. On Wednesday, a Dallas jury returned a nearly $19 million verdict against the engineering and construction giant in a negligence lawsuit.
Plaintiff David Dawson, who worked as a contractor in Iraq, filed a lawsuit against Fluor Intercontinental, Inc. seeking to hold the company responsible for third-degree burns he suffered over 65 percent of his body while showering at Freedom Compound in Baghdad in November 2007. Fluor provided Operations and Maintenance and Life Support services at the compound under a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dawson alleged the company was negligent in failing to properly maintain a safe temperature in the water heating system. The jury agreed and awarded Dawson $18.78 million in damages.
Fluor’s reputation has been dinged twice this week. On Monday, former Fluor manager David John Welch was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiring to steal military generators in Iraq and selling them on the black market. He pleaded guilty back in April.
Fluor currently has 34 instances in our Federal Contractor Misconduct Database and a total of $462.1 million in misconduct fines and penalties. (Coincidentally, Fluor also ranked 34th in federal contract dollars in fiscal year 2010 with $1.9 billion in contract awards.) Fifteen instances involve Fluor’s work as manager of the Department of Energy’s nuclear facility in Hanford, Washington. Last year, Fluor paid the government $4 million to settle allegations that several Hanford employees made hundreds of fraudulent purchases using government-issued credit cards and accepted kickbacks from a local vendor.
Neil Gordon is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight.