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Military Claims Act - 14134_319
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the  scope  of  their  employment.  Although  MCA regulatations  do  not  specifically  require  the  claimant  to establish  governmental  negligence  to  be  able  to  recover damages under the MCA, OJAG has opined informally that the term  caused by  means negligently  caused by. The concept, then, of causation under the MCA is the same as that required under the FTCA. Also, the scope of  employment  concept  under  the  MCA  is  identical  to that required under the FTCA claims. The Department of the Navy also is liable under the MCA for injury, death, or property damage incident to noncombat activities of a peculiarly military nature. Examples include claims such as those arising out of maneuvers,  artillery  and  bombing  exercises,  naval exhibitions,  aircraft  and  missile  operations,  and  sonic booms. Under this second theory of MCA liability, the claims  need  not  show  that  the  activities  were belligerently  conducted.    In fact, the claimant’s losses need not be traced to the conduct of any specific federal employees.  The  scope  of  employment  concept  does  not apply. The  MCA  applies  worldwide.  If  a  claim  arising  in a foreign country is cognizable under the FCA, however, it will be processed under that statute and not as an MCA claim. If the claim is denied, the claimant does not have the right to sue. EXCLUSIONS  FROM  LIABILITY As  with  FTCA  claims,  there  are  three  general categories of exclusions from liability under the MCA: certain exempted activities; claims cognizable under other  claims  statutes;  and  certain  excluded  classes  of Claimants. Exempted Governmental Activities A claim will not be payable under the MCA if it involves an exempted governmental activity. The most frequent examples include the following: Combat activities or enemy action Certain  postal  activities Property   damage   claims   based   on   alleged contract violations by the government Claims Cognizable Under Other Claims Statutes Claims that are governed by one of the following claims statutes are not payable under the MCA: l o 0 @ Federal Tort Claims Act Military  Personnel  and  Civilian  Employees’ Claims Act Foreign  Claims  Act Certain admiralty claims Excluded Classes of Claimants Military members and civilian employees of the Department of the Navy may not recover under the MCA for personal injury or death occurring incident to service  or  employment. Compensation   may   be recovered for property damage under the MCA if it is not covered by another claims statute. As a practical matter,  however,  when  a  military  member  suffers property damage incident to service, it will usually be compensated  under  the  Military  Personnel  and  Civilian Employees’  Claims  Act. Nationals of an ally of a country at war with the United  States,  unless  the  individual  claimant  is determined to be friendly to the United States, are excluded  from  MCA  coverage. Generally, a claim will not be paid under the MCA if the injury, death, or personal property damage was caused  in  whole  or  in  part  by  the  claimant’s  own negligence  or  wrongful  acts. This   contributory negligence is a complete bar to tort recovery in many states. However, if the law of the jurisdiction where the claim arose would allow recovery in a lawsuit, even though the claimant was negligent, the MCA claim can be  paid.  Under  such  circumstances,  the  negligent claimant will only recover that amount that local law would permit a negligent claimant to recover in its courts.  This  partial  recovery  concept  is  known  as  the comparative  negligence  doctrine. MEASURE OF DAMAGES The rules for determining the amount of a claimant’s recovery under the MCA arc similar to those governing other  claims. The  amount  of  compensation  for  property  damaged is based on the estimated cost of restoring the property to its condition before the incident. If the property cannot  be  repaired  economically,  the  measure  of damage will be the replacement cost of the property minus  any  salvage  value.  The  claimant  also  may recover compensation for loss of use of the property. 12-12

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