The remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28, or by alternative benefits provided by the United States where the availability of such benefits precludes a remedy under section 1346(b) of title 28, for damage for personal injury, including death, resulting from the performance of medical, surgical, dental, or related functions, including the conduct of clinical studies or investigation, by any commissioned officer or employee of the Public Health Service while acting within the scope of his office or employment, shall be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding by reason of the same subject-matter against the officer or employee (or his estate) whose act or omission gave rise to the claim.
The Attorney General shall defend any civil action or proceeding brought in any court against any person referred to in subsection (a) of this section (or his estate) for any such damage or injury. Any such person against whom such civil action or proceeding is brought shall deliver within such time after date of service or knowledge of service as determined by the Attorney General, all process served upon him or an attested true copy thereof to his immediate superior or to whomever was designated by the Secretary to receive such papers and such person shall promptly furnish copies of the pleading and process therein to the United States attorney for the district embracing the place wherein the proceeding is brought, to the Attorney General, and to the Secretary.
Upon a certification by the Attorney General that the defendant was acting in the scope of his employment at the time of the incident out of which the suit arose, any such civil action or proceeding commenced in a State court shall be removed without bond at any time before trial by the Attorney General to the district court of the United States of the district and division embracing the place wherein it is pending and the proceeding deemed a tort action brought against the United States under the provisions of title 28 and all references thereto. Should a United States district court determine on a hearing on a motion to remand held before a trial on the merit that the case so removed is one in which a remedy by suit within the meaning of subsection (a) of this section is not available against the United States, the case shall be remanded to the State Court: Provided, That where such a remedy is precluded because of the availability of a remedy through proceedings for compensation or other benefits from the United States as provided by any other law, the case shall be dismissed, but in the event the running of any limitation of time for commencing, or filing an application or claim in, such proceedings for compensation or other benefits shall be deemed to have been suspended during the pendency of the civil action or proceeding under this section.
The Attorney General may compromise or settle any claim asserted in such civil action or proceeding in the manner provided in section 2677 of title 28 and with the same effect.
The Secretary or his designee may, to the extent that he deems appropriate, hold harmless or provide liability insurance for any officer or employee of the Public Health Service for damage for personal injury, including death, negligently caused by such officer or employee while acting within the scope of his office or employment and as a result of the performance of medical, surgical, dental, or related functions, including the conduct of clinical studies or investigations, if such employee is assigned to a foreign country or detailed to a State or political subdivision thereof or to a non-profit institution, and if the circumstances are such as are likely to preclude the remedies of third persons against the United States described in section 2679(b) of title 28, for such damage or injury.
In the case of ahealth care provider who is an officer, employee, or contractor of an entity described in subsection (g)(4), section 254h(e) of this title shall apply with respect to the provider to the same extent and in the same manner as such section applies to any member of the National Health Service Corps.
For purposes of this section, and subject to other provisions of this subsection, acovered person shall be deemed to be an employee of the Public Health Service with respect to liability arising out of administration of a covered countermeasure against smallpox to an individual during the effective period of a declaration by the Secretary under paragraph (2)(A).
The Secretary shall promptly publish each such declaration and amendment in the Federal Register.
A person may not bring a claim under this subsection unless such person has exhausted such remedies as are available under part C of this subchapter, except that if the Secretary fails to make a final determination on a request for benefits or compensation filed in accordance with the requirements of such part within 240 days after such request was filed, the individual may seek any remedy that may be available under this section.
The value of all compensation and benefits provided under part C of this subchapter for an incident or series of incidents shall be offset against the amount of an award, compromise, or settlement of money damages in a claim or suit under this subsection based on the same incident or series of incidents.
The certification by the Attorney General that is the basis for deeming an action or proceeding to be against the United States, and for removing an action or proceeding from a State court, is a certification that the action or proceeding is against a covered person and is based upon a claim alleging personal injury or death arising out of the administration of a covered countermeasure.
The certification of the Attorney General of the facts specified in subparagraph (A) shall conclusively establish such facts for purposes of jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection.
Should payment be made by the United States to any claimant bringing a claim under this subsection, either by way of administrative determination, settlement, or court judgment, the United States shall have, notwithstanding any provision of State law, the right to recover for that portion of the damages so awarded or paid, as well as interest and any costs of litigation, resulting from the failure of any covered person to carry out any obligation or responsibility assumed by such person under a contract with the United States or from any grossly negligent, reckless, or illegal conduct or willful misconduct on the part of such person.