Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Feedback button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of January 25, 2021

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VISubchapter EPart 750 → Subpart B


Title 32: National Defense
PART 750—GENERAL CLAIMS REGULATIONS


Subpart B—Federal Tort Claims Act


Contents
§750.21   Scope of subpart B.
§750.22   Exclusiveness of remedy.
§750.23   Definitions.
§750.24   Statutory/regulatory authority.
§750.25   Scope of liability.
§750.26   The administrative claim.
§750.27   Information and supporting documentation.
§750.28   Amendment of the claim.
§750.29   Investigation and examination.
§750.30   Denial of the claim.
§750.31   Reconsideration.
§750.32   Suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
§750.33   Damages.
§750.34   Settlement and payment.
§750.35   Attorney's fees.
§750.36   Time limitations.
§§750.37-750.40   [Reserved]

return arrow Back to Top

§750.21   Scope of subpart B.

This subpart provides information regarding the administrative processing and consideration of claims against the United States under the FTCA. The FTCA is a limited waiver of sovereign immunity. Under the FTCA, an individual can seek money damages for personal injury, death, or property damage caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a Federal employee acting within the scope of employment. The FTCA also provides for compensation for injuries caused by certain intentional, wrongful conduct. The liability of the United States is determined in accordance with the law of the State where the act or omission occured.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.22   Exclusiveness of remedy.

(a) The Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988, Public Law 100-694 (amending 28 U.S.C. 2679(b) and 2679(d)), provides that the exclusive remedy for damage or loss of property, or personal injury or death arising from the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of all Federal employees, acting within the scope of their employment, will be against the United States. This immunity from personal liability does not extend to allegations of constitutional torts, nor to allegations of violations of statutes specifically authorizing suits against individuals.

(b) Other statutory provisions create immunity from personal liability for specific categories of Federal employees whose conduct, within the scope of their employment, gives rise to claims against the Government. Department of Defense health care providers are specifically protected by 10 U.S.C. 1089, the Gonzalez Act. DOD attorneys are specifically protected by 10 U.S.C. 1054.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.23   Definitions.

(a) Negligent conduct. Generally, negligence is the failure to exercise that degree of care, skill, or diligence a reasonable person would exercise under similar circumstances. Negligent conduct can result from either an act or a failure to act. The law of the place where the conduct occurred will determine whether a cause of action lies against the Government. 28 U.S.C. 1346(b) and 2674.

(b) Intentional torts. Although any employee who commits an intentional tort is normally considered to be acting outside the scope of employment, the FTCA does allow claimants to seek compensation for injuries arising out of the intentional torts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, abuse of process, and malicious prosecution, if committed by a Federal investigative or law enforcement officer. An “investigative or law enforcement officer” is any officer of the United States empowered by law to execute searches, to seize evidence, or to make arrests for violations of Federal law. 28 U.S.C. 2680(h).

(c) Government employees—(1) General. “Employee of the Government,” defined at 28 U.S.C. 2671, includes officers or employees of any Federal agency, members of the U.S. military or naval forces, and persons acting on behalf of a Federal agency in an official capacity.

(2) Government contractors. Government (also referred to as independent) contractors, are those individuals or businesses who enter into contracts with the United States to provide goods or services. Because the definition of “Federal agency,” found at 28 U.S.C. 2671, specifically excludes “any contractor with the United States,” the United States is generally not liable for the negligence of Government contractors. There are, however, three limited exceptions to the general rule, under which a cause of action against the United States has been found to exist in some jurisdictions. They are:

(i) Where the thing or service contracted for is deemed to be an “inherently dangerous activity”;

(ii) where a nondelegable duty in the employer has been created by law; or,

(iii) where the employer retains control over certain aspects of the contract and fails to discharge that control in a reasonable manner.

(3) Employees of nonappropriated-fund activities. Nonappropriated-fund activities are entities established and operated for the benefit of military members and their dependents, and have been judicially determined to be “arms” of the Federal government. These entities operate from self-generated funds, rather than from funds appropriated by Congress. Examples include Navy and Marine Corps Exchanges, officer or enlisted clubs, and recreational services activities. A claim arising out of the act or omission of an employee of a nonappropriated-fund activity not located in a foreign country, acting within the scope of employment, is an act or omission committed by a Federal employee and will be handled in accordance with the FTCA.

(d) Scope of employment. “Scope of employment” is defined by the law of respondeat superior (master and servant) of the place where the act or omission occurred. Although 28 U.S.C. 2671 states that acting within the scope of employment means acting in the line of duty, the converse is not always true. For administrative purposes, a Government employee may be found “in the line of duty,” yet not meet the criteria for a finding of “within the scope of employment” under the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.24   Statutory/regulatory authority.

The statutory provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) are at 28 U.S.C. 1346(b), 2671-2672, and 2674-2680. The Attorney General of the United States has issued regulations on administrative claims filed under the FTCA at 28 CFR part 14. If the provisions of this section and the Attorney General's regulations conflict, the Attorney General's regulations prevail.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.25   Scope of liability.

(a) Territorial limitations. The FTCA does not apply to any claim arising in a foreign country. 28 U.S.C. 2680(k) and Beattie v. United States, 756 F.2d 91 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

(b) Exclusions from liability. Statutes and case law have established categories of exclusions from FTCA liability.

(1) Statutory exclusions. Section 2680 of Title 28 lists claims not cognizable under the FTCA. They include:

(i) Claims based on the exercise or performance of, or the failure to exercise or perform, a discretionary Government function;

(ii) Admiralty claims under 46 U.S.C. 741-752 or 781-790. Claims under the Death on the High Seas Act (46 U.S.C. 761), however, are cognizable under the FTCA. All admiralty claims will be referred to the Judge Advocate General for adjudication. Admiralty claims against the Navy shall be processed under part 752 of this Chapter;

(iii) Claims arising from intentional torts, except those referred to in §750.23(b);

(iv) Claims arising from the combat activities of the military or naval forces, or the Coast Guard, during time of war.

(2) Additional claims not payable. Although not expressly statutorily excepted, the following types of claims shall not be paid under the FTCA:

(i) A claim for personal injury or death of a member of the armed forces of the United States incurred incident to military service or duty. Compare United States v. Johnson, 481 U.S. 681 (1987); Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135 (1950) with Brooks v. United States, 337 U.S. 49 (1949);

(ii) Any claim by military personnel or civilian employees of the Navy, paid from appropriated funds, for personal property damage occurring incident to service or Federal employment, cognizable under 31 U.S.C. 3721 and the applicable Personnel Claims Regulations, 32 CFR part 751;

(iii) Any claim by employees of nonappropriated-fund activities for personal property damage occurring incident to Federal employment. These claims will be processed as indicated in 32 CFR part 756;

(iv) Any claim for personal injury or death covered by the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (5 U.S.C. 8116c);

(v) Any claim for personal injury or death covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 905 and 5 U.S.C. 8171);

(vi) That portion of any claim for personal injury or property damage, caused by the negligence or fault of a Government contractor, to the extent such contractor may have assumed liability under the terms of the contract (see United States v. Seckinger, 397 U.S. 203 (1969) and §750.23(c)(2);

(vii) Any claim against the Department of the Navy by another Federal agency. Property belonging to the Government is not owned by any one department of the Government. The Government does not reimburse itself for the loss of its own property except where specifically provided for by law; and

(viii) Any claim for damage to a vehicle rented pursuant to travel orders.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.26   The administrative claim.

(a) Proper claimant. See §750.5 of this part.

(b) Claim presented by agent or legal representative. A claim filed by an agent or legal representative will be filed in the name of the claimant; be signed by the agent or legal representative; show the title or legal capacity of the person signing; and be accompanied by evidence of the individual's authority to file a claim on behalf of the claimant.

(c) Proper claim. A claim is a notice in writing to the appropriate Federal agency of an incident giving rise to Government liability under the FTCA. It must include a demand for money damages in a definite sum for property damage, personal injury, or death alleged to have occurred by reason of the incident. The Attorney General's regulations specify that the claim be filed on a Standard Form 95 or other written notification of the incident. If a letter or other written notification is used, it is essential that it set forth the same basic information required by Standard Form 95. Failure to do so may result in a determination that the administrative claim is incomplete. A suit may be dismissed on the ground of lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on claimant's failure to present a proper claim as required by 28 U.S.C. 2675(a).

(d) Presentment. A claim is deemed presented when received by the Navy in proper form. A claim against another agency, mistakenly addressed to or filed with the Navy shall be transferred to the appropriate agency, if ascertainable, or returned to the claimant. A claimant presenting identical claims with more than one agency should identify every agency to which the claim is submitted on every claim form presented. Claims officers shall coordinate with all other affected agencies and ensure a lead agency is designated. 28 CFR 14.2.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.27   Information and supporting documentation.

(a) Proper documentation. Depending on the type of claim, claimants may be required to submit information, as follows:

(1) Death. (i) An authenticated death certificate or other competent evidence showing cause of death, date of death, and age of the decedent;

(ii) Decedent's employment or occupation at time of death, including monthly or yearly earnings and the duration of last employment;

(iii) Full names, addresses, birth dates, relationship, and marital status of the decedent's survivors, including identification of survivors dependent for support upon decedent at the time of death;

(iv) Degree of support provided by decedent to each survivor at time of death;

(v) Decedent's general physical and mental condition before death;

(vi) Itemized bills for medical and burial expenses;

(vii) If damages for pain and suffering are claimed, a physician's detailed statement specifying the injuries suffered, duration of pain and suffering, any drugs administered for pain, and the decedent's physical condition during the interval between injury and death; and,

(viii) Any other evidence or information which may affect the liability of the United States.

(2) Personal injury. (i) A written report by attending physician or dentist on the nature and extent of the injury, nature and extent of treatment, any degree of temporary or permanent disability, the prognosis, period of hospitalization, any diminished earning capacity. In addition, the claimant may be required to submit to a physical or mental examination by a physician employed by any Federal agency. Upon written request, a copy of the report of the examining physician shall be provided;

(ii) Itemized bills for medical, dental, and hospital expenses incurred, or itemized receipts of payments of such expenses;

(iii) A statement of expected expenses for future treatment;

(iv) If a claim is made for lost wages, a written statement from the employer itemizing actual time and wages lost;

(v) If a claim is made for lost self-employed income, documentary evidence showing the amount of earnings actually lost; and

(vi) Any other evidence or information which may affect the liability of the United States for the personal injury or the damages claimed.

(3) Property damage. (i) Proof of ownership;

(ii) A detailed statement of the amount claimed for each item of property;

(iii) An itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or itemized written estimates of the cost of repairs;

(iv) A statement listing date of purchase, purchase price, and salvage value where repair is not economical; and

(v) Any other evidence or information which may affect the liability of the United States for the property damage claimed.

(b) Failure to submit necessary documentation. If claimant fails to provide sufficient supporting documentation, claimant should be notified of the deficiency. If after notice of the deficiency, including reference to 28 CFR 14.4, the information is still not supplied, two follow-up requests should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. If after a reasonable period of time the information is still not provided, the appropriate adjudicating authority should deny the claim.

[57 FR 4722, Feb. 7, 1992, as amended at 72 FR 53420, Sept. 19, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§750.28   Amendment of the claim.

A proper claim may be amended at any time prior to settlement, denial, or the filing of suit. An amendment must be submitted in writing and must be signed by the claimant or duly authorized agent or legal representative. No finally denied claim for which reconsideration has not been requested under §750.31 may be amended.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.29   Investigation and examination.

Subpart A of this part requires an investigation for every incident that may result in a claim against or in favor of the United States. Where a previously unanticipated claim is filed against the Government and an investigation has not already been conducted, the appropriate claims officer shall immediately request an investigation. See subpart A of this part for specific action required by an adjudicating authority.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.30   Denial of the claim.

Final denial of an administrative claim shall be in writing and shall be sent to the claimant, his duly authorized agent or legal representative by certified or registered mail, with return receipt requested. The notification of final denial shall include the reasons for the denial. The notification shall include a statement informing the claimant of his right to file suit in the appropriate Federal district court not later than 6 months after the date of the mailing of the notification. 28 CFR 14.9(a).

return arrow Back to Top

§750.31   Reconsideration.

(a) Request. Prior to the commencement of suit and prior to the expiration of the 6-month period for filing suit, a claimant or his duly authorized agent or legal representative may present a request for reconsideration to the authority who denied the claim. The request shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the requested reconsideration. A request for reconsideration is presented on the date it is received by the DON. 28 CFR 14.9(b).

(b) Proper basis. A request for reconsideration shall set forth claimant's reasons for the request, and shall include any supplemental supporting evidence or information. Any writing communicating a desire for reconsideration that reasonably appears to have been presented solely for the purpose of extending the statutory period for filing suit, shall not be treated as a request for reconsideration. Claimant or claimant's authorized representative shall be notified promptly that the writing is not considered a proper request for reconsideration.

(c) Effect of presentment of request. The presentment of a proper request for reconsideration starts a new 6-month period for the DON to act on the request to reconsider. The claimant may not file suit until the expiration of the new 6-month period, or until after the date of mailing of the final denial of the request. Final denial of a request for reconsideration shall be accomplished in the manner prescribed in §750.30. 28 CFR 14.9(b).

return arrow Back to Top

§750.32   Suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

(a) Venue. Venue is proper only in the judicial district where the plaintiff resides or where the act or omission complained of occurred. 28 U.S.C. 1402.

(b) Jury trial. There is no right to trial by jury in suits brought under the FTCA. 28 U.S.C. 2402.

(c) Settlement. The Attorney General of the United States, or designee, may arbitrate, compromise, or settle any action filed under the FTCA. 28 U.S.C. 2677.

(d) Litigation support—(1) Who provides. The adjudicating authority holding a claim at the time suit is filed shall be responsible for providing necessary assistance to the Department of Justice official or U.S. Attorney responsible for defending the Government's interests.

(2) Litigation report. A litigation report, including a legal memorandum emphasizing anticipated issues during litigation, shall be furnished to the appropriate Department of Justice official or U.S. Attorney.

(3) Pretrial discovery. Complete and timely responses to discovery requests are vital to the effective defense of tort litigation. Subject to existing personnel and resources available, appropriate assistance shall be provided. The Judge Advocate General should be notified promptly when special problems are encountered in providing the requested assistance.

(4) Preservation of evidence. Tort litigation is often accomplished over an extended period of time. Every effort shall be made to preserve files, documents, and other tangible evidence that may bear on litigation. Destruction of such evidence, even in accordance with routine operating procedures, undermines defense of a case.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.33   Damages.

(a) Generally. The measure of damages is determined by the law of the place where the act or omission occurred. When there is a conflict between local and applicable Federal law, the latter governs. 28 U.S.C. 1346(b).

(b) Limitations on liability. The United States is not liable for interest prior to judgment or for punitive damages. In a death case, if the place where the act or omission complained of occurred provides for only punitive damages, the United States will be liable in lieu thereof, for actual or compensatory damages. 28 U.S.C. 2674.

(c) Setoff. The United States is not obligated to pay twice for the same injury. Claimants under the FTCA may have received Government benefits or services as the result of the alleged tort. The cost of these services or benefits shall be considered in arriving at any award of damages. For example, the cost of medical or hospital services furnished at Government expense, including TRICARE payments, shall be considered. Additionally, benefits or services received under the Veterans Act (38 U.S.C. 101-800) must be considered. Brooks v. United States, 337 U.S. 49 (1949).

(d) Suit. Any damage award in a suit brought under the FTCA is limited to the amount claimed administratively unless based on newly discovered evidence. 28 U.S.C. 2675(b). Plaintiff must prove the increased demand is based on facts not reasonably discoverable at the time of the presentment of the claim or on intervening facts relating to the amount of the claim.

[57 FR 4722, Feb. 7, 1992, as amended at 72 FR 53420, Sept. 19, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§750.34   Settlement and payment.

(a) Settlement agreement—(1) When required. A settlement agreement, signed by the claimant, must be received prior to payment in every case in which the claim is either:

(i) Settled for less than the full amount claimed, or

(ii) The claim was not presented on a Standard Form 95.

(2) Contents. Every settlement agreement must contain language indicating payment is in full and final settlement of the applicable claim. Each settlement agreement shall contain language indicating acceptance of the settlement amount by the claimant, or his agent or legal representative, shall be final and conclusive on the claimant, or his agent or legal representative, and any other person on whose behalf or for whose benefit the claim has been presented, and shall constitute a complete release of any claim against the United States and against any employee of the Government whose conduct gave rise to the claim, by reason of the same subject matter. 28 CFR 14.10(b). In cases where partial payment will benefit both claimant and the Government, such as payment for property damage to an automobile, the settlement agreement shall be tailored to reflect the terms of the partial settlement. All settlement agreements shall contain a recitation of the applicable statutory limitation of attorneys fees. 28 U.S.C. 2678.

(b) DON role in settlement negotiations involving the U.S. Attorney or DOJ. Agency concurrence is generally sought by the Department of Justice or U.S. Attorney's office prior to settlement of suits involving the DON. Requests for concurrence in settlement proposals shall be referred to the appropriate DON adjudicating authority with primary responsibility for monitoring the claim. Adjudicating authorities shall consult with the Judge Advocate General concerning proposed settlements beyond their adjudicating authority.

(c) Payment of the claim—(1) Statutory authority. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2672 and in accordance with 28 CFR 14.6(a), the Secretary of the Navy or designee, acting on behalf of the United States may compromise or settle any claim filed against the Navy under the FTCA, provided any award, compromise, or settlement by the Navy in excess of $200,000.00 may be effected only with the prior written approval of the Attorney General or designee. Title 28 CFR 14.6 requires consultation with the Department of Justice prior to compromise or settlement of a claim in any amount when:

(i) A new precedent or a new point of law is involved;

(ii) A question of policy is or may be involved;

(iii) The United States is or may be entitled to indemnity or contribution from a third party and the agency is unable to adjust the third party claim;

(iv) The compromise of a particular claim, as a practical matter, will or may control the disposition of a related claim in which the amount to be paid may exceed $100,000.00; or

(v) The DON is informed or is otherwise aware that the United States or an employee, agent, or cost-plus contractor of the United States is involved in litigation based on a claim arising out of the same incident or transaction.

(2) Specific delegation and designation—(i) Payment authority.

Delegated and Designated Authority Federal Tort Claims Act

Judge Advocate General—$200,000.00

Deputy Judge Advocate General—$200,000.00

Assistant Judge Advocate General (General Law)—$200,000.00

Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation) and Deputy Division Director—$200,000.00

Head, Tort Claims Branch (Claims and Tort Litigation)—$200,000.00

Any payment of over $200,000.00 must be approved by DoJ. The Judge Advocate General, the Deputy Judge Advocate General, the Assistant Judge Advocate General (General Law), Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation), and the Head, Tort Claims Branch (Claims and Tort Litigation) may deny Federal Tort Claims in any amount.

(ii) Adjudicating authority. The Department of the Navy's tort claims adjudication function is consolidated as the Tort Claims Unit Norfolk (TCU) located at Naval Station, Norfolk, VA. The address is as follows: Department of the Navy, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Tort Claims Unit Norfolk, 9620 Maryland Avenue Suite 100, Norfolk, VA 23511-2989.

(3) Funding. Claims approved for $2,500.00 or less are paid from DON appropriations. Claims approved in excess of $2,500.00 are paid from the judgment fund and must be forwarded to the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) for payment. 28 CFR 14.10(a). Claims arising out of the operation of nonappropriated-fund activities and approved for payment shall be forwarded to the appropriate nonappropriated-fund activity for payment.

[57 FR 4722, Feb. 7, 1992, as amended at 72 FR 53420, Sept. 19, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§750.35   Attorney's fees.

Attorney's fees are limited to 20 percent of any compromise or settlement of an administrative claim, and are limited to 25 percent of any judgment rendered in favor of a plaintiff, or of any settlement accomplished after suit is filed. These amounts are to be paid out of the amount awarded and not in addition to the award. 28 U.S.C. 2678.

return arrow Back to Top

§750.36   Time limitations.

(a) Administrative claim. Every claim filed against the United States under the FTCA must be presented in writing within 2 years after the claim accrues. 28 U.S.C. 2401(b). Federal law determines the date of accrual. A claim accrues when the claimant discovers or reasonably should have discovered the existence of the act giving rise to the claim. In computing the statutory time period, the day of the incident is excluded and the day the claim was presented included.

(b) Amendments. Upon timely filing of an amendment to a pending claim, the DON shall have 6 months to make a final disposition of the claim as amended, and the claimant's option to file suit under 28 U.S.C. 2675(a) shall not accrue until 6 months after the presentment of an amendment. 28 CFR 14.2(c).

(c) Suits. A civil action is barred unless suit is filed against the United States not later than 6 months after the date of mailing of notice of final denial of the claim. 28 U.S.C. 2401(b). The failure of the DON to make final disposition of a claim within 6 months after it is presented shall, at the option of the claimant any time thereafter, be deemed a final denial of the claim. 28 U.S.C. 2675(a).

return arrow Back to Top

§§750.37-750.40   [Reserved]

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?