Federal Recreation Discretionary Function Immunity: "Room for Policy Judgment and Decision" without Fear of Liability

Authors

  • James C. Kozlowski
  • Brett A. Wright

Keywords:

Recreational injury liability, federal agencies, discretionary functions, negligence.

Abstract

Since the enactment of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) in 1946, federal resource management agencies have been liable for negligence that causes injury to recreational users. However, federal courts have found limited, but significant immunity against liability for federal agencies though the discretionary function exception to the FTCA. This article analyzes recent case law (since 1985) and offers federal recreation resource managers some practical understanding of the role that agency policies play in determining the availability of irnmunity to negligenceliability for recreational injuries. Increased understanding of discretionary function immunity should complement existing safety and risk management efforts by federal resource managers.?

Published

1990-04-04

Issue

Section

Regular Papers