Government Lawsuits – Taking on the Government in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Government lawsuits are often challenging personal injury cases. It is very difficult to win a case against a governmental entity and cases brought against the government. However, it is possible to successfully sue the government and prevail.
Government lawsuits are not often won, as was the case of a man who died as the result of the personal injury he suffered at an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program in Delaware County. In this case, a lawyer filed suit filed suit against the government in the death of a 58 year old man. The Accelerated Disposition Program is an alternative to the criminal justice system. The lawyer argued that the Delaware County mandated program did not follow safety and health screenings, which resulted in the death of the man, who died after being forced to do heavy manual labor in oppressive heat without enough water or shade. The man collapsed after moving cinder blocks for hours at the top of a building, where temperatures reached 105 degrees. The plaintiff’s husband was a first time offender, cited for driving with an open beer can after fishing. Damages exceeded $150,000 and demanded that the program screen for health risks for participants completing such arduous tasks. Six months after the lawsuit was filed, participants were still not screened for medical conditions that could potentially cause injury. The judge sympathized with the victim, stating “Her husband’s death was manifestly a tragic occurrence.” Despite acknowledging the tragedy, the judge ultimately ruled that the incident was “not one for which the appellee’s are liable.” Although this seems like a good case, the plaintiff’s attorney did not win the case against the government.
The government is heavily protected from government lawsuits, however there are exceptions written in the law which allow for government lawsuits. One of the exceptions to suing the government in a personal injury lawsuit is the involvement of a governmental vehicle in an accident. This exception was successfully argued by Philadelphia Injury Lawyer John Fox in a Federal Court trial, in the case of a woman rear-ended by government van which necessitated brachial plexis surgery. The case ended in a Federal Court trial verdict with an award of $1.8 million dollars.