Federal Tort Claim Act Essay

The Federal Courts is a public Institutions used by many people and is one of the three branches of the government, the Judiciary status assigned by the constitution which equal to that of the legislative and executive branches. Most people’s knowledge about the federal court is limited and is too little. Their belief that it is something that only lawyers and other related persons should be concerned of makes them less interested to the Federal Court system. This negligence may lead to the violation of their right as individuals and productive member of the society. The law should be available for everyone to understand in order for them to appreciate the government and to protect and fight for their rights.

Enacted by the United States Congress in 1946, the Federal State Claim Act or FTCA is a statute that offers waiver of the federal government’s sovereign immunity in limited numbers. Under this act, the United State is maybe sued for physical damages such as money damages, property loss, injuries or death if it passed through the strict the strict limitations of the FTCA. If the loss or damages that occurred has been proven to be a result of a federal employee’s action and within his or her employment, the complainant is allowed to recover the amount money damages that occurred. In this case, the Unite State is legally responsible for the said damages.

The federal government of the United States may not be sued unless it has waived its sovereign immunity or consented to suit. It had been made possible for private parties or person to sue the United States in Federal Court through this act with certain limitations of course. The government may only be sued according to the law that governs the place where the act occurred or omitted. Therefore it is only applicable for conducts that are governmental in nature and is something that the private are not capable of doing.

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The government can be sued only if its employees or law enforcer is alleged of the following cases: assault, battery, false capture, false detention, malicious prosecution or misuse of process. It will not be the government’s liability if libel, slander, deceit, misrepresentation or interference with a contract cases are filed against laws enforcers. The congress has not waived immunity for such cases against a government personnel or employee.

For a private employer that is also accountable for the action or case, there are certain exceptions in which the government is legally responsible for the legal action. The claims based upon the federal agency or a government employee’s performance or his or her failure to exercise or perform his or her duties and discretionary function are exemptions that are included in the discretionary function exemption.

In order to identify if the lawsuit act falls under the discretionary function exception, the court uses a so called two part test for the validity of the claim.  The first part involves the decision whether the act involves judgment or an element of choice. When it is proven that the employee’s action is based upon certain regulations, policy or federal statute will make the first requirement not satisfied. After the first requirement is satisfied and established, the next question is whether the action involves social, economic and political policy. In cases wherein the particular action is unrestricted or discretionary, the government’s failure to properly train its employees that are connected to the subject matter is also discretionary.

In order for the United States to be sued, the act must violate not only the constitution law but rather the State law in accordance to the rules under the FTCA. In order to take away the personal accountability of federal employees, the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act or FELTCA had been substitute. Under the FTCA, the court should apply the law as the court of the state would.

The United State is the only state that is covered by the Federal Tort Claim Act. If the petitioner wants to bring other parties into the action, it may be sued as pendent parties. An administrative claim must be offered to the federal agency where the agent whose deed or omission produces the injury is employed before an action may be organized. The agency is then given sixth months to either admit or deny the claim after the presentation of the administrative claim. A complaint can only be filled after the admission or denial of the administrative claim. Also if sixth months had pass and the administrative claim had not been given the appropriate action. In such a case, the agency may also be sued. This requirement only applies when the suit is filled against the United States and not directly against a government employee for the actions that take place within the range of his or her employment.

The sum of certain amount of damages wanted must be included in the claim. Sufficient information must also included and taken account of in order for the agency to be able to investigate on the intrinsic worth of the claim. The amount of the claim presented to the federal agency may not be brought for greater damages. Still, an exception is made and the amount may be increased in accordance with the new evidence that are found which are not presented during the time that the claim was presented.

The State Law governs the damages incorporated under the FTCA. Penalizing damages are also proscribed by the FTCA. The income taxes are to be deducted from the total income and that future loses should be decrease to its present worth.

The government may only be sued because of an independent contractor’s carelessness and negligence if it has been proven that the government of the United States is capable of tracking and controlling the contractor’s physical actions. The State should also be able to supervise the day to day action of that particular contractor.

If the compliant is due to medical malpractice, under the FTCA, the important thing is that the petitioner is interviewed. In this case, the claimant has to personally volunteer for an interview otherwise his or her refusal for an interview may serve as a ground for denial of his or her claim. Then upon the approval of the interview, the interview is then prepared. The time allotted for the interview is sufficient to be able to perform the interview well. Also a site for the interview should be agreed upon by both parties on their convenient time. A pre-interview is also done where the claimants medical records are obtain together with his or her military and financial record. These records will be used for the investigation of the subject matter. A list of clarification is also demanded to determine the contradictions between the records and the allegation.

I believe that Federal Tort Claim Act really does help in providing the United States with competent, responsible and capable government employee. Through this act, government employee’s actions will surely be carefully done to the fear of being sued due to irresponsibility and incompetence. People pay taxes to the government and therefore they should be given the appropriate means of returning the favor. The people’s taxes are the ones that are used to pay for the government employee’s salary and they should serve the people in a manner that is appropriate and with full respect.

The government is for the people and therefore the government’s duty is to serve and protect the people’s interest and especially their life. There is no excuse for a government employee to be unable to do his or her job when it is in the range of his or her authority and employment. The agencies are also responsible for maintaining and making sure that their employees are well trained and are capable of doing their job well and of serving the people.  The agency should really be sued upon their negligence of a complaint against their employee. Every complaint and dissatisfaction of the people should be addressed and attended properly for the benefit of the whole State.

The Federal Tort Claim Act is truly well thought and is made for the benefit of the people. I really admire the contributors and makers of this Act. I can say that they are really devoted in serving the people and not their own personal interest and benefit. The government and society are really in need of such law makers, law makers that value the public’s interest and protect their rights as members of the community as a whole. The approval of the Federal Tort Claim Act shows that the United States government is trully for the people.

References:

The ‘Lectric Law Library’s Legal Lexicon On Federal Tort Claims Act . (no date). Retrieved

            August 17, 2007 from http://www.lectlaw.com/def/f071.htm

Quinton, M. The Federal Tort Claims Act:  An Overview .   Retrieved August 17, 2007

from http://www.quintonpetix.com/fedtorac.htm

 LouisvilleLaw. 2004. Federal Tort Claims Act. Retrieved August 18, 2007 from

http://www.louisvillelaw.com/federal/federal_tort_claims_act.htm