The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the federal government's sovereign immunity as to claims for injuries caused by an act or omission of a government employee within his or her scope of duty. However, this waiver is not absolute and the government has retained immunity for many claims, including those arising out of an assault or battery. The federal circuit courts are split regarding whether this exception applies to claims for the negligent hiring, retention and supervision of federal employees who commit an assault or battery. While the U.S. Supreme Court has left the question unanswered, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated that such claims are allowed, while most other circuits have taken the opposite view. This Comment argues that claims for the negligent hiring, retention and supervision of federal employees are not barred by the assault and battery exception to the FTCA. The legislative history and intent of the FTCA urge such a reading, as does recent Supreme Court jurisprudence. Finally, any danger that barred claims may be disguised as claims for negligent hiring, retention and supervision can be avoided through the use of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Rebecca L. Andrews,
Notes and Comments,
So the Army Hired an Ax-Murderer: The Assault and Battery Exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act Does Not Bar Suits for Negligent Hiring, Retention and Supervision,
78 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol78/iss1/4