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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16841
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Are certain organizations exempt from legal accountability

Customer Question

Are certain organizations exempt from legal accountability when it comes to defamation of character. As an example, is the VA accountable or not by defaming a physicians character falsely?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state you're in?
Customer: South Dakota.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No. I have been working with a self declared arbitrator from Louisiana.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The case originates from a locum tenens assignment with the VA in Arizona.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Yes, unfortunately there are some "exemptions". Now it's not "certain organizations" but rather governmental organizations that enjoy protections of "sovereign immunity" which is essentially a doctrine that says that the government is immune from lawsuit unless the government allows itself to be sued. The government, after all, makes the laws, and until it allows itself to be sued, it can't successfully be sued. The VA is a governmental agency, and as such the law has to specifically state that they can be sued. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) generally allows an aggrieved individual to bring a lawsuit against the Federal government for torts (bad acts) committed by the government or a governmental actor. But there are very specific exceptions. The FTCA provides:

The provisions of this chapter and section 1346(b) of this title shall not apply to. . . . (h) Any claim arising out of assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, or interference with contract rights.

So in short, the FTCA (which otherwise would authorize a lawsuit based on defamation) states that it does not apply to defamation lawsuits, and as such you can't successfully sue a governmental entity for defamation (libel is written defamation, slander is oral defamation).

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions).

If you can't see the stars, you may need to scroll up / down / left / or right to see them. This is where you rate so that the question will close out.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

Hello?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

Please respond, as I need you to either respond or rate to close this question out...

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 8 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.