According to Associated Press reports, the suit, filed by Jakeco Enterprises, Heber City, Utah, alleges Wasatch Constructors and its primary dirt supplier, Ralph Smith Co. of West Bountiful, Utah, shortchanged haulers and that a Smith dispatcher demanded gifts and cash before assigning work.
Jakeco filed the suit in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking unspecified damages. The trucking company filed for bankruptcy during the I-15 overhaul, and hopes the suit becomes a class action so it can recover money for more than 100 truckers and trucking companies that have worked on the project.
Richard Haskill, the dispatcher accused of extortion, was quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune as saying he never asked for bribes when assigning subcontracted trucks to haul fill for I-15 embankments.
The suit alleges that Wasatch skirted legal weight limits and full payment to the truckers by overloading their trucks and paying only for the legal limit -- less than what they were hauling, reported the AP.
Wasatch and Ralph Smith Co. called the lawsuit frivolous.