Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer Blog
One may think that the almighty government is an ironclad battleship, impenetrable to lawsuits, but that is not true. Although it is not as simple to sue the government as it is to sue a citizen, it can be done, as Hendrickson demonstrated. Under the 11th Amendment, sovereign immunity prohibits citizens from suing a state. However, in 1948 when the Federal Tort Claims Act was enacted, it allowed citizens to sue the United States in federal court for torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the government. A tort is a civil wrong for which no criminal punishment will remedy the harm. In this case, the Border Patrol Officer was acting on behalf of the government because his duty was to patrol areas around the U.S. border and prevent illegal entry into the country. Furthermore, he was driving a Border Patrol issued Chevrolet Silverado truck around the Otay Mountain Truck Trail, which demonstrates he was under the color of the government at the time and place of this incident.