Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS

HATTON W. SUMNERS, Texas, Chairman EMANUEL CELLER, New York

U. S. GUYER, Kansas ZEBULON WEAVER, North Carolina

CLARENCE E. HANCOCK, New York FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania

EARL C. MICHENER, Michigan CHARLES F. McLAUGHLIN, Nebraska JOHN M. ROBSION, Kentucky SAM HOBBS, Alabama

CHAUNCEY W. REED, Illinois JOHN H. TOLAN, California

JOHN W. GWYNNE, Iowa WILLIAM T. BYRNE, New York

LOUIS E. GRAHAM, Pennsylvania DAVE E. SATTERFIELD, JR., Virginia RAYMOND S. SPRINGER, Indiana JAMES M. BARNES, Illinois

ALBERT L. VREELAND, New Jersey ESTES KEFAUVER, Tennessee

JOSEPH P. O'HARA, Minnesota
A. SIDNEY CAMP, Georgia
JOSEPH R. BRYSON, South Carolina
FADJO CRAVENS, Arkansas
WILLIAM R. THOM, Ohio
THOMAS H. ELIOT, Massachusetts

FRANK CONNELL, Clerk
VELMA SMEDLEY, Assistant Clerk
HARMON L. WATKINS, Assistant Clerk

II

TORT CLAIMS

)

JANUARY 29, 1942
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10:30 a. m., pursuant to call, Hon. Hatton W. Sumners (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order.

Gentlemen, we have before us for consideration this morning two bills, H. R. 6463 and H. R. 5373, the first containing proposed amendments to the second bill.

I understand the proponent, Mr. Celler, has aided the Attorney General's office in the preparation of the amendments to this proposed legislation.

(The committee had under consideration H. R. 6463 and H. R. 5373, which are as follows:)

[COMMITTEE PRINT]

JANUARY 24, 1942 NOTE.—Matter in roman appears in H. R. 5373, and is proposed to be retained; matter in italics is proposed to be inserted; matter in brackets is proposed to be stricken out. The bill after such changes is the same as H. R. 6463.)

(H. R. 5373, 77th Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To provide for the adjustment of certain tort claims against the United States and to confer juris

diction in respect thereto on (the Court of Claims ana] the district courts of the United States, and for other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the Federal Tort Claims Act.

TITLE I

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 101. As used in this Act, the termFederal agencyincludes the executive departments and independent establishments of the United States, and corporations whose primary function is to act as and while acting as instrumentalities or agencies of the United States, whether or not authorized to sue and be sued in their own names: Provided, That this shall not be construed to include any contractor with the United States.

Employee of the Governmentincludes officers or employees of any Federal agency, members of the military or naval forces of the United States, and persons acting on behalf of a Federal agency in an official capacity, temporarily or permanently in the service of the United States, whether with or without compensation.

Acting within the scope of his office or employment, in the case of a member of the military or naval forces of the United States, means acting in line of duty.

1

[blocks in formation]

SECTION [1] 201. Subject to the limitations of this Act, authority is hereby conferred upon the head of each [department or independent establishment] Federal agency, or his designee for the purpose, acting on behalf of the [Government of the] United States, to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, and settle any claim against the United States for money only, accruing after the date of approval of this Act, on account of [damages] damage to or loss of property, or on account of personal (injuries] injury or death, where the total amount of the claim does not exceed $1,000, caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any [officer or] employee of the United States, including any member of the military and naval forces, ] Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the Çhited States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant for such damage, loss, injury or death, in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.[If the amount of the award does not exceed $500, such determination shall be final and conclusive on all officers of the Government, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. If the amount of the award exceeds the sum of $500, the award shall be submitted by the head of the department or independent establishment making the same to the Attorney General for review. In such event, the] Subject to the provisions of title III of this Act, any such award or determination (of the Attorney General] shall be final and conclusive on all officers of the Government, except when procured by means of fraud, nothwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. [Such amount as may be found to be due to any claimant] Any award made to any claimant pursuant to this section, and any award, compromise, or settlement of any claim cognizable under this Act made by the Attorney General pursuant to section 304, shall be paid by the head of the [department or independent establishment] Federal agency concerned out of appropriations that may be made therefor, which appropriations are hereby authorized.

The accept ance by the claimant of any such award, compromise, or settlement shall be final and conclusive on the claimant, and shall constitute a complete release by the claimant of any claim against the United States and against the employee of the Government whose act or omission gave rise to the claim, by reason of the same subject matter.

[SEC. 2. The Attorney General is authorized to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the enforcement and administration of this title. Such rules may prescribe the procedure and principles of decision, including construction and interpretation of this Act and questions of subrogation, to be followed by the various departments and independent establishments in considering, ascertaining, adjusting, or determining claims under this title, and may include a schedule of the amount of compensation to be awarded for specific physical injuries. ]

SEC. [3] 202. The head of each [department and independent establishment] Federal agency shall annually make a report to the Congress of all claims [determine) presented to such Federal agency under this title. Such report shall include the [names] name of [all] each [claimants] claimant, [and] a statement of the amount claimed and [of] the amount awarded or other disposition made in each instance, and a brief description of the claim.

TITLE [II] III suits [ON TORT CLAIMS] AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON TORT CLAIMS SEC. [201. That) 301. Subject to the provisions of this Act [and the Judicial Code, the Court of Claims and the district courts], the United States district court for the district wherein the plaintiff is resident or wherein the act or omission complained of occurred, including the United States District [Court for Hawaii, sitting] Courts for the Territories and possessions of the United States, sitting as a court of claims without a jury, shall have [concurrent] exclusive jurisdiction to hear, [and] determine, and render judgment on any claim [claims] against the United States, for money only, in any amount not exceeding the sum of $7,500, accruing after the date of approval of this Act, on account of [damages] damage to or loss of property or on account of personal [injuries] injury or death, caused by the [negligence] negligent or wrongful act or omission of any [officer or] employee of the (United States, including any member of the military or naval forces of the United States,] Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant for such damage, loss, injury, or death in accordance

« PreviousContinue »