High Court Limits Gov't Utility's Immunity From Injury Suit

By Y. Peter Kang and Jimmy Hoover (April 29, 2019, 10:34 AM EDT) -- The Tennessee Valley Authority can't invoke sovereign immunity from lawsuits involving its discretionary functions like some other agencies, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, reviving a sports fisherman's negligence suit against the quasi-government utility.

The Eleventh Circuit had affirmed the suit's dismissal by applying the Federal Tort Claims Act's "discretionary-function" exception. The exception provides the federal government with sovereign immunity in cases where its exercise of judgment is questioned.

Reversing the Eleventh Circuit's decision, the justices revived Gary Thacker's suit alleging the TVA's work on a downed power line caused his serious injuries and resulted in the death of his friend...

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