William G. Schwab and Associates
811 Blakeslee Blvd. Dr. East (PA Route 443) PO Box 56 Lehighton, PA 18235
Tel 610-377-5200 Fax 610-377-5209
NEWSLETTER
Personal Injury July 29, 2016
 
Personal Injury
Bankruptcy
Business
Criminal Law
Elder Law
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Proving Product Defect With Circumstantial Evidence

Individuals who have been injured by a defective product will have a valid legal claim against the manufacturer or distributor ...(more)

 

FDA's Guidelines for Recalls

When a product is defective or harmful to the public, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may order or request ...(more)

 

Elder Abuse Law - An Overview

In general, the broad term "elder abuse" is used to encompass several forms of misconduct directed toward individuals aged 60 ...(more)

 

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 ...(more)

 

Personal Injury Headlines

Illinois Teen Injured in Bike Wreck Awarded $910K

Personal-injury accident investigtion leads to multiple charges for Massena pair

Walmart removes personal injury lawsuit to federal court

Anderson Hospital denies allegations in personal injury lawsuit

$5 million personal injury lawsuit against city dismissed

Exception to Federal Government Immunity from Lawsuits


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.

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