Miller & Ayala, LLP
Toll-Free 888-317-6621

Personal Injury Newsletter

Claims and Suits Against the Government Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

The doctrine of “sovereign immunity” protects the U.S. and other governments from lawsuits. In 1946, Congress adopted the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which created a limited waiver of that immunity.

The Federal Tort Claims Act

Under the FTCA, individuals may bring suit against the U.S. government for money damages for injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or wrongful death if all of the following elements are met:

  • The injury was caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission (but not intentional conduct) of an employee of the U.S. government
  • The injury occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of her office or employment
  • The injured party has first submitted a claim to the appropriate federal agency within two years of the injury
  • The claim has been denied or six months have passed without an agency decision

Exceptions to FTCA Rights

The following is a list of most, but not all, exceptions to the right under the FTCA to file a claim and lawsuit against the U.S. government. Exceptions include claims arising from:

  • Most actions by an independent contractor hired by the government
  • The exercise of “due care” in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether or not it is valid, or performance of a “discretionary function” by the government employee, whether or not discrimination is involved
  • Transmission of letters or postal “matters”
  • Collection of taxes or customs duties, or seizure or detention of goods, merchandise, or other property by a customs or other law enforcement officer
  • The imposition or establishment of a quarantine by the U.S.
  • Administration of the federal Trading With the Enemy Act
  • Assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, or interference with contractual rights. However, this exception does not apply to acts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, abuse of process, or malicious prosecution by investigative or law enforcement officers of the U.S. government.
  • Fiscal operations of the Treasury Department or regulation of the monetary system
  • Combatant activities of military or naval forces, including the Coast Guard, in time of war
  • Activities of certain government agencies, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Construction, operation, maintenance and management of federal flood control projects, as well as man-made floods
  • Injuries to service personnel that arise out of or in the course of military service

Government Liability Under the FTCA

The FTCA preempts all other remedies for claimants who are injured as a result of acts of negligence by government employees, when conducted in the scope of employment. In other words, FTCA procedures for bringing a claim and pursuing a lawsuit are controlling.

The FTCA, however, is intended to make the U.S. government liable “in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances.” As a consequence, the law of the place where the injury or loss occurred determines the type of claims that may be brought and the extent of recovery. The FTCA, however, bars liability for interest prior to judgment and punitive damages.

  • Recovery of Damages for Invasion of Privacy
    A “tort” may generally be defined as an act deemed wrongful enough that one who suffers injury from it may bring a lawsuit to recover damages. Many torts have their origin in “common law,” which is the body of... Read more.
  • Actions Arising Out of SUV Rollovers
    “Sport Utility Vehicles” (SUV’s) have become increasingly popular. It has been estimated that SUV’s comprise 25% or more of new car sales, as opposed to only 2% in 1985. Unfortunately, serious questions have been... Read more.
  • Breach of Warranty and Personal Injury
    Although the public tends to trust the integrity of a product and the company that produces it, not all products are made safely and injury can result from products that are improperly designed, manufactured or distributed. In... Read more.
  • Providing Notice for Medical Liens
    A person injured in an accident caused by the negligence or fault of another may eventually be able to recover damages from the person at fault. However, accident injuries usually require immediate treatment. If the injured party lacks... Read more.
Personal Injury News Links
Share This Page:
Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2016 - 2022 Miller & Ayala, LLP. All rights reserved.
Theme WebExpress™ attorney website design by NextClient.com.