Monday, February 6, 2012

Then I Guess They Won't Mind Paying The Terry Family $25 Million

The National Law Journal is reporting today that the Federal government paid out more than $3 billion to settle lawsuits against it. This includes court judgments and settlements made by the Federal government.
Lawyers for Uncle Sam shelled out more than $3 billion in taxpayer funds last year to resolve lawsuits against the federal government — more than twice as much as in 2010, and the most in at least five years, an analysis of government records shows.
This ranges from the Department of Energy who had to pay out $1.3 billion to the Department of Labor which only had to pay out $350,000 in settlements and judgments.

If you will remember, the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has filed notice that they will be suing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for $25 million for negligence in letting guns walk in Operation Fast and Furious. The government has six months to respond and could, if they were really stupid and tone deaf, withhold the family the permission to sue them. As a sovereign government, the Federal government could claim immunity but usually doesn't in cases of personal injury or property damage. These case are handled under the Federal Torts Claims Act.


  1. Are you kidding? Pay the Terrys? The FedGov doesn't give money away in lawsuits unless they are being sued by enviro groups who are being advised by the FedGov on how to sue them FedGov to enforce stupid and ill considered enviro regulations.

    Are the Terrys planning on using the $25Mil to set up an environmental watchdog organization that will stop the upgrading of coal fired power plants? Will they be monkeywrenching a logging operation? How about blocking access to oil and natural gas fields?

    I didn't think so. As far as the FedGov is concerned, they can just whistle for their money.

    Have I mentioned that I think that the FedGov seems to be run entirely by assholes?

  2. It depends. They payment to the Weaver family wasn't small, and a Federal jury just awarded $22 million to a guy in NM who was thrown in solitary for a couple of years without being charged (the defendant was the state, though).

    The first step as noted is getting the government to waive sovereign immunity, then it's in the hands of a court. And Federal courts have made some huge payouts, I'm thinking of some in the S&L crisis where the government double crossed some banks who they asked to buy troubled ones, with billion (sic) dollar payouts following for breach of contract. (Of course, the S&L payouts were that large since the damage was easily measured and it was all about money; damages in this sort of case are quite different.)