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Federal Tort Claim Act Overview


The Federal Tort Claims Act, Title VI of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, was approved by Congress in an attempt to alleviate the negative implications of the policy of sovereign immunity “when its employees are negligent within the scope of their employment.” (Federal Tort Claims Act, n.d.).

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Government liability in tort cases

Furthermore, it was meant to eradicate the practice of persons introducing private relief bills for citizen who had been aggrieved owing to government neglect. In it, the government gave its general consent to be sued in civil wrong actions in federal court. It required a jury less federal district court judge to provide judgment in these cases under scenarios where the US government, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant for such damage, loss, injury or death in agreement with the law of the place where the act or inaction occurred. However, the onus of proving the facts vests with the plaintiff in a tort claim and it also contained exceptions to governmental liability. Under 28 U.S.C.A Section 2680, the following could be said to be exceptions to the concept of governmental liability. They are as follows:

Further, military action during war, monetary injuries caused by fiscal transactions of Finance and treasury departments, regulatory issues of the monetary system, e.g., collection of custom duties, etc., for claims emanating in a foreign country, and also in case of other assorted claims. Dalehite v. United States, (1953):

In Dalehite v. United States, 346 U.S. 15, 73 S. Ct. 956, 97 L. Ed. 1427 (1953), the U.S. Supreme Court generally viewed the flexible function exception to include all situations involving the formulation or execution of plans that were drawn at a high level of government and that entailed application of judgment. In this case, Federal government workers in Texas were careless in packing and shipping explosive material, and their carelessness resulted in the death of 536 people. The Court verdicted that the workers were carrying out directives prepared by senior officials in Washington, D.C., who were applying their judgment. Thus, the optional function exemption applied and the government was protected from suit.

“The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the trial court’s judgment in favor of petitioners. “ (Federal Tort Claims Act Case Compliments of Versus Law: 97 L. Ed, 1998).

Federal laws in the context of North Carolina

However, when viewed in the context of North Carolina, it may be said that there are certain issues that are expressly prohibited in contract clauses, and therefore, in such cases, there is need for appropriate rescissions, modifications or amendments to be made in order to make Federal laws amenable to State of North Caroline laws.

In the first place, holding the State liable for actions of persons who are not state agents, employees or servants. Next, it is seen that it is not possible to claim more than what is permissible under the Tort Claims Act, and therefore, the State of North Carolina is at liberty to reject the amount that is in excess of what is admissible under the Tort Claim Act. Again, with regard to financial matters, it is seen that the North Carolina State’s obligation is limited to that under its annual budget for an annual year, since all payments are fixed on per annum basis. Therefore, if any acceleration is claimed, it is well within the State of North Carolina’s powers to rescind such clauses, or to seek the intervention of the Attorney General to seek ways and means for appropriation of funds from the funds allotted to North Carolina state treasury funds.

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Next, it is seen that applying the Federal laws in the context of North Carolina State, the Federal laws seeking to provide liabilities for actions other than negligence of State employees, their agents or servants. (N.C. Tort Claim Act: General Statute 143- 291, 2005).

In case where it is seen that such liability is not sustainable by State, it is well within powers of North Carolina to cancel such clauses or have them modified to suit state requirements.

Further, it is seen that any clause that restricts the liability of contractors for non-performance in the state of North Carolina is void, in that if any contractor has agreed to undertake any work, he is under obligation to perform the work, but later on disclaims performing, has different characteristics with inherent difficulties in non-performance. Therefore, any clause seeking to restrict liability on non-performance can be rescinded.

Another important aspect that applies to the State of North Carolina is the overriding powers vested with the Attorney General (AG) of the State. In cases where there are disputes prevailing, which require the intervention of the AG, his decisions shall remain binding and applicable on the State.

It is also seen that the State is at liberty to declare clauses that seek to allocate legal jurisdiction of contracts to States, other than North Carolina, to be void able, at the discretion of the AG. This law applies except in the case of transactions like non-consumer loans, or any actionable or arbitration contracts, which had been signed in the State of North Carolina but the legal jurisdiction of which was in a county outside the jurisdiction of the State of North Carolina. It is well within the powers of the AG to determine the outcome of such disputes, keeping in view the interests of the State.

In a decided case, the question arouse as to whether reduction in the time span in which action could be brought about for filing a legal claim or to bring a suit for breach of contract. It is seen that a period of less than 3 years for bringing legal action could be voided, otherwise if the breach caused incalculable injuries to aggrieved parties. In all other cases, such clause could be deleted as per the laws of the North Carolina.

The State of North Carolina cannot agree to any clauses that make arbitration, binding and mandatory, which would in effect, undermine the authority and suzerainty of Attorney General (AG). It is further seen that federal laws cannot seek to assign or transfer rights of parties to outside 3rd Party, without putting such party to same rights and obligations as would have been available to the original debtor. In case this is not possible, such a clause, if present, needs to be cancelled.

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There are interalia, other clauses that need to be observed in dealing with matters of State of North Carolina Vis-a –Vis Federal laws. It could be seen in terms of the fact that any clauses seeking to restrain or prevent providers’ employees to seek employment elsewhere are void and unenforceable. Again, it is seen that providers are under obligation to disclose matters that need to be revealed, under law, and also the need to keep confidential matters that are private in nature. Revealing confidential matters and not disclosing legally disclosable maters constitute an offence under local laws in North Carolina.


It is seen that powers of Attorney General (AG) in North Carolina are dominant and need to be abided. In the context of the fact as per law, the payments are determined for one year only, and therefore any payments stretching beyond one fiscal year, needs to seek appropriations from the State of North Carolina of adequate means to cover up the purposes set forth in contract.

Thus it could be seen that the state of North Carolina has evolved its own set of laws derived from state policies and rulings of law courts. Etc. However, it also to be seen that the Federal statutes need to be in harmony with State laws in order to provide direction and thrust to all aspects of law in its executor functions.

Reference List

Federal Tort Claims Act Case Compliments of VersusLaw: 97 L. Ed. (1998). The Medical and Public Law Site. 49. 2008. Web.

Federal Tort Claims Act. (n.d.). The Lectric Law Library’s Legal Lexicon on Federal Tort Claims Act. 2008. Web.

N.C. Tort Claim Act: General Statute 143- 291. (2005). CTE Presentation. 2008. Web.

28 USC – US Code – Title 28: Judiciary and Judicial Procedure (2003) Vlex. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, September 22). Federal Tort Claim Act Overview.

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"Federal Tort Claim Act Overview." StudyCorgi, 22 Sept. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Federal Tort Claim Act Overview." September 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Federal Tort Claim Act Overview." September 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Federal Tort Claim Act Overview." September 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Federal Tort Claim Act Overview'. 22 September.

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