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The state and federal governments act through their agents and employees. What if these agents and employees, acting within the course and scope of their employment, are negligent in their conduct and injure someone?  Can the injured party sue the government?

The concept of sovereign immunity, in many instances, was a complete bar to recovery by the injured party. Now, both the federal government and South Carolina state government have adopted “tort claims” acts whereby the governmental entity consents to be sued in certain circumstances. These acts, however, are full of immunities and exceptions and limitations on recovery.

For example, the South Carolina Tort Claims Act allows for a claim against the highway department for improper maintenance but not for a faulty design.  The law also has a two year statute of limitations; it provides caps on damages, and it eliminates punitive damages.  Analyzing a claim involving a governmental actor must involve a review of these statutes. Tort claims actions can involve governmental agents or employees who cause motor vehicle wrecks, medical negligence, or supervisory negligence, or who maintain dangerous premises.

Kassel and McVey can assist you. Call us today at 803.256.4242 for more information.