Recently, a suit by a US motorist against the United States Army arising out of a truck wreck was thrown out for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. This case underscores the importance of following the FTCA’s administrative requirements because if you do not, your case can be thrown out. It also underscores the necessity of getting a good lawyer to represent you; specifically, one that knows the ins and outs of the FTCA military claims.
The plaintiff in this Second Circuit case filed suit against the Department of Army under the FTCA to recover for personal injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred during an automobile accident. The plaintiff presented to the Army only a statement in his Standard Form 95 (“SF 95”) that he suffered “personal injuries, the full extent of which is not presently known, including but not limited to injuries to the neck, back, right shoulder, which have caused claimant to incur and continue to incur expenses for medical care, attention and treatment, and as a further result he was, and will continue to be, rendered unable to perform his normal activities and duties and has sustained a resultant loss therefrom.” Importantly, he did not submit a value of his claim. The FTCA requires that you submit a form 95 with a sum certain. If you do not submit a sum certain with your claim, your case can and will be thrown out.