Neff on Supreme Court’s FTCA Equitable Tolling Decisions
Professor Laurie Forbes Neff, Director of the Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic, commented on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions in United States v. Wong and United States v. June, which held that filing deadlines in the Federal Tort Claims Act are subject to equitable tolling.
The legal clinic filed two amicus briefs in the cases, arguing that the two-year limit for filing administrative claims, and six-month limit for filing suit in federal court, under the Federal Tort Claims Act should be subject to equitable tolling.
Because of “deployments and injuries and all sorts of things, you can foresee” that the type of extraordinary circumstances that could warrant equitable tolling “would arise a lot more often” in military cases, according to Neff, who worked on an amicus brief in support of Wong.
“This decision clears the way for military members and their dependent family members” to “pursue relief when they have been unable to do so” due to injury or the lack of knowledge that a claim against the government existed, Neff told Bloomberg BNA April 22.
High Court Gives Plaintiffs Breathing Room In Federal Tort Claims Equitable Tolling Case, Bloomberg BNA, April 22, 2015. By Jeffrey D. Koelemay.