Federal Tort Claims Act – Discretionary Function Exception

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) bars claims that are based on the performance or failure to perform a discretionary function or duty of a federal agency or federal government employee, even if there is an abuse of discretion. According to this “discretionary function exception,” a personal injury action cannot be filed under the FTCA if the employee’s negligence arises from a discretionary function or the execution of a statute or regulation.
 
Generally, conduct falls within the discretionary function exception if:
 
(1) the conduct involves an element of judgment or choice (Conduct involves an element of judgment or choice if it is grounded in social, economic, and political policy; conduct is likely to involve an element of judgment or choice if the conduct is governed by an agency’s regulations.); and
 
(2) the conduct involves considerations of public policy.
 
Conduct such as planning, establishing policies, and allocating resources may fall within the discretionary function exception.
 
The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice, and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Representative case results are provided as examples only, and do not guarantee or imply the same or similar results for other cases, which are evaluated on their individual merits.

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