Law Dictionary

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

Law 28 U.S.C. § 1346 et seq. (1946)

legal Definition of Federal Tort Claims Act

did away with discretionary immunity (based on sovereignty) for the United States in civil tort actions in federal court. Prior to the enactment (which is Title VI of the Legislative Reorganization Act, 2 U.S.C. § 31), persons who were tortiously injured by agents of the government had no legal recourse (other than having a congressperson introduce a private relief bill) because the U.S. government could not be sued. The Act established the conditions for making claims and bringing suit against the federal government. Several exceptions to government liability are included, however, such as acts involving the “discretionary function” of federal agents and injuries incurred while carrying out military duties.

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