If you are injured on someone else’s property, you can normally bring a premises liability claim if there is evidence the owner was somehow negligent. Unfortunately, the rules are much different for injury victims if they are injured on government property. Both the federal and Georgia governments are normally immune from lawsuits unless they consent to be sued. With respect to the federal government, Congress adopted the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which authorizes individuals to bring personal injury lawsuits against the government under state law in certain circumstances.
What do we mean by “certain circumstances”? The FTCA does contain a number of exceptions, which courts are required to strictly construe in favor of the federal government, as it is presumed to have immunity unless expressly waived. One of the most common exceptions applies to “discretionary” actions by government employees. This exception holds that a person may not file a personal injury claim against the government based on an employee’s “failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function.” In other words, if an employee fails to carry out a duty mandated by law, a person can file a claim under the FTCA. But if the employee has any discretion to act (or not act), the government cannot be held liable.
Fagg v. United States