The Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946 (FTCA) is a monumental bill that enabled the Federal government to be sued for tortious activities of its employees within the scope of their employment. Prior to this legislation, sovereign immunity protected the Federal government from essentially all lawsuits. However, the FTCA opened up the doors for the Federal government to be sued similarly to any other employer for negligence of its employees. However, the FTCA limits liability of the government in multiple ways such as not covering most intentional actions of employees and not allowing punitive damages. The laws that apply to an FTCA case often follow the rules and tort laws of the district court where the claim is filed.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]