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Federal Tort Claims Act — Federal Government Employees

Federal Government Employees

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) applies to claims for personal injury caused by the negligence of a federal government employee who is acting within the scope of his or her employment, under circumstances where a private person would be liable under state law. Therefore, the FTCA applies only to personal injury actions that arise from the negligence of a federal government employee.

Under the FTCA, federal government employees include any officer or employee of a federal government agency and members of the United States Armed Forces and National Guard.


The FTCA does not apply to personal injury actions that arise from the negligence of contractors. Generally, a person is a contractor (rather than a federal government employee) if:

(1) the government does not have the power to control the physical performance of his duties; and

(2) the government does not supervise his day-to-day operations.

A plaintiff may not file a personal injury action against the federal government under the FTCA for injuries that arise from a contractor’s negligence.

Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.