Federal Tort Claims Act 60 Stat. 842 (1946)
FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT 60 Stat. 842 (1946)
The Federal Tort Claims Act, enacted in 1946, relinquished an important part of the sovereign immunity of the United States and was part of a larger twentieth-century trend toward relaxing absolute barriers to suits against governments and officials. By this act, the United States consented to be sued for its agents' torts when private persons would be liable for such torts under the law of the place where the tort occurred. But the act fell short of imposing liability for all torts of United States agents. Generally, the tort must be compensable under state law. In addition, the act excluded liability for a vague category of behavior known as "discretionary functions." As originally enacted, the act also excluded liability for many torts that might arise in the context of law enforcement, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, and false arrest. In 1974, however, the Intentional Tort Amendment Act expanded government liability to include these and other torts. The act continues to exclude liability for defamation, misrepresentation, deceit, and interference with contract rights.