Legal Question in Federal Tort Claims in California

Can you link an FTCA claim to events that occur after the event for which you can prove that the government is directly responsible? For example, if you are a federal agent and you make a whistleblower complaint and the government fires you illegally, then shortly afterward criminals torture you. You can sue the government for violating whistleblower laws and for wrongful termination, but can you also argue that you would most likely not have been tortured by criminals if you had not been wrongfully terminated as a federal agent?

Asked on 3/03/13, 9:41 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Kubler The Kubler Law Firm

Listen the Tort Claims Act is not an isolated and spontaneous flash of congressional generosity. It is the culmination of a long effort to mitigate unjust consequences of sovereign immunity from suit. It does not expand but limits liability. As the law states "The United States shall be liable . . . in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances. . .," with certain exceptions. Now one obvious shortcoming in your plain example of a criminal torture from a wrongful discharge is that the plaintiff can point to no liability of a "private individual" even remotely analogous to that which your example makes to assert against the United States in a FTCA claim. There is just nothing else to go on here in your brief example...

As to the initial question: "Can you link an FTCA claim to events that occur after the event for which you can prove that the government is directly responsible?" No liability would go on forever if you could argue cause and effect to every event in life. You can sue for what is foreseeable. You ought to consult a local attorney whether you can more accurately describe why the torture would have been foreseeable because of your discharge.... did you not have a gun? Did these criminals get notice you were not an agent anymore and went after you?

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Answered on 3/04/13, 5:33 pm

Robert Kubler The Kubler Law Firm

Other question "can you also argue"

When suing the government I would include all the possible claims.You have a constitutional right to argue it and make the case. They have an opportunity to respond to your allegations as well.

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Answered on 3/04/13, 5:36 pm

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