32 CFR § 536.41 - Determination of liability—generally.

§ 536.41 Determination of liability—generally.

(a) Under the FTCA, the United States is liable in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission giving rise to the tort occurred (28 U.S.C. 2673 and 2674). This means that liability must rest on the existence of a tort cognizable under state law, hereinafter referred to as a state tort. A finding of state tort liability requires the litigating attorney to prove the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages as interpreted by federal case law.

(b) The foregoing principles and requirements will be followed in regard to tort claims against the United States under other subparts, with certain exceptions noted within the individual subparts or particular tort statutes.

(c) Interpretation will be made in accordance with FTCA case law and also maritime case law where applicable. Additionally, a noncombat activity can furnish the basis for a claim under subparts C, F, and J of this part. Noncombat activities include claims arising out of civil works, such as inverse condemnation.

(d) Federal, not state or local, law applies to a determination as to who is a federal employee or a member of the armed forces. Under all subparts, the designation “federal employee” excludes a contractor of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. 2671. See however, § 536.23(b)(4)(ii) concerning personal services contractors. For employment identification purposes apply FTCA case law in making a determination.

(e) Federal, not state or local, law applies to an interpretation of the SOL under all subparts. Minority or incompetence does not toll the SOL. Case law developed under the FTCA will be used in other subparts in interpreting SOL questions.

(f) Under the FTCA state or local law is used to determine scope of employment and under other subparts for guidance.