Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 102 Part 5.djvu/557

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.
PUBLIC LAW 100-000—MMMM. DD, 1988

PUBLIC LAW 100-694—NOV. 18, 1988

102 STAT. 4563

Public Law 100-694 100th Congress

An Act To amend title 28, United States Code, to provide for an exclusive remedy against the United States for suits based upon certain negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of United States employees committed within the scope of their employment, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988". SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress finds and declares the following: (1) For more than 40 years the Federal Tort Claims Act has been the legal mechanism for compensating persons injured by negligent or wrongful acts of Federal employees committed within the scope of their employment. (2) The United States, through the Federal Tort Claims Act, is responsible to injured persons for the common law torts of its employees in the same manner in which the common law historically has recognized the responsibility of an employer for torts committed by its employees within the scope of their employment. (3) Because Federal employees for many years have been protected from personal common law tort liability by a broad based immunity, the Federal Tort Claims Act has served as the sole means for compensating persons injured by the tortious conduct of Federal employees. (4) Recent judicial decisions, and particularly the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Westfall v. Erwin, have seriously eroded the common law tort immunity previously available to Federal employees. (5) This erosion of immunity of Federal employees from common law tort liability has created an immediate crisis involving the prospect of personal liability and the threat of protracted personal tort litigation for the entire Federal workforce. (6) The prospect of such liability will seriously undermine the morale and well being of Federal employees, impede the ability of agencies to carry out their missions, and diminish the vitality of the Federal Tort Claims Act as the proper remedy for Federal employee torts. (7) In its opinion in Westfall v. Erwin, the Supreme Court indicated that the Congress is in the best position to determine the extent to which Federal employees should be personally liable for common law torts, and that legislative consideration of this matter would be useful.

Nov. 18, 1988 [H.R. 4612]

Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988. 28 USC 1 note. 28 USC 2671 note.