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Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Handbook

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Handbook

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Published by Jason Henry

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Published by: Jason Henry on Dec 25, 2011
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JACS-Z 1 November 1999 MEMORANDUM FOR CLAIMS JUDGE ADVOCATES/CLAIMS ATTORNEYSSUBJECT: Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Handbook
1. This edition of the FTCA Handbook is a revision of thematerial originally published in July 1979 and updatedperiodically since. The previous edition was last updated inSeptember 1998. This edition contains significant cases throughSeptember 1999 pertaining to the filing and processing ofadministrative claims under the FTCA (Title 28, United StatesCode, Sections 2671-2680) and related claims statutes.2. This Handbook provides case citations covering a myriad ofissues. The citations are organized in a topical manner,paralleling the steps an attorney should take in analyzing aclaim. Older citations have not been removed. Shepardizing isessential.3. If any errors are noted, including the omission of relevantcases, please use the error sheet at the end of the Handbook tobring this to our attention. Users needing further informationor clarification of this material should contact their AreaAction Officer or Mr. Joseph H. Rouse, Deputy Chief, Tort ClaimsDivision, DSN: 923-7009, extension 212; or commercial: (301)677-7009, extension 212.
JOHN H. NOLAN III
Colonel, JACommanding
 
i
TABLEOFCONTENTS
I. REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE FILINGA. Why is There a Requirement?1. Effective Date of Requirement............................12. Administrative Filing Requirement Jurisdictional.........13. Waiver of Administrative Filing Requirement..............14. Purposes of Requirement..................................25. Administrative Filing Location...........................26. Not Necessary for Compulsory Counterclaim................27. Not Necessary for Third Party Practice...................2B. What Must be Filed?1. Written Demand for Sum Certain...........................22. Examples of Written Demand...............................4a. Complaint to Individuals.............................4b. Continuing Injury....................................5c. Incapacitating Injury................................6d. State Court Suit Not a Claim.........................6e. Money Figure in Writing..............................7f. Approximate or Present Amount........................7g. Agency Permission....................................8h. Class Actions Administrative Filings.................8i. Class Action Maintenance Prerequisites...............8j. Specificity of Pleading in Class Action..............8k. Tolling by Insurer’s Claim...........................9l. Spouse’s Name on SF95................................9m. Failure to Provide Specific Facts....................93. Documenting a Claim......................................9a. Appropriate Documentation............................9b. Documentation Excused...............................10(1) Feres Cases ....................................10(2) Statute of Limitation Cases ....................10(3) Exclusion Cases ................................114. Authority to Sign for Claimant..........................11a. Authority and State Law.............................12b. Appointment Held in Abeyance........................125. Notifying Claimant of Improper Claim....................136. Amendments..............................................13a. Valid Claims Only...................................13b. Amendment Restarts AdministrativeConsideration Period ................................13c. Amendments in Court.................................14d. Presentation of Different Basis for Claimat Trial ............................................15
 
iie. Ad Damnum Amendments at Trial.......................16(1) Offers by Claimant’s During Negotiation ........17(2) SF 95 Demand Not Realistic .....................17(3) Derivative Claims ..............................18C. Where Must the Claim be Filed?1. Appropriate Agency......................................19a. Legislative and Judicial Branches...................19b. Mailbox not Appropriate Agency......................19c. Counterclaim Excluded...............................202. Multi-Agency Claim......................................20a. Problems from Failure to Notify.....................20b. Six Months..........................................20c. Avoidance by Withdrawal.............................20d. Claimant Must be Notified of Lead Agency............203. Primary Agency..........................................204. Where Within Agency.....................................20D. When Must the Claim be Filed?1. Within Two Years of Accrual.............................21a. Does Not Include Saturdays or Holidays..............21b. Accrual Date Determined by Federal Law..............21c. Is Limitation Jurisdictional orIncludes Equitable Tolling? .........................212. Acknowledgment of Filing Date...........................243. Disability of Claimant..................................24a. Infancy.............................................24b. Incompetency........................................25c. Alternative Remedies................................254. Medical Malpractice.....................................25a. Discovery Rule......................................26b. Non-Medical Malpractice Cases.......................265. Court Decisions.........................................26a. Continuous Treatment................................26b. Credible Explanation................................27c. Undetermined Damages................................27d. Blameless Ignorance.................................27e.
 
Splitting a Cause of Action.........................28f.
 
Fraudulent Concealment..............................28g. Emotional Injury....................................29h. Trivial Injury......................................29i. Continuing Tort.....................................296. Kubrick Decision........................................30a. Kubrick Followed....................................30b. Kubrick not Followed................................327. Effect of Death.........................................358. Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA).........359. Damage to Land and Property.............................3610. Toxic Torts.............................................3711. False Arrest............................................3812. Mistaken Filing under FTCA..............................38

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