On March 4, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Levin v. United States. The question in this case is whether a veteran can bring a battery claim against the United States for an injury caused by medical military personnel while performing their duties, or whether such a claim is prohibited by the “intentional tort exception” to the general waiver of sovereign immunity in the Federal Tort Claims Act.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held unanimously that the “intentional tort exception” does not prevent the veteran from bringing his medical battery claim against the United States. The Court reversed the contrary decision of the lower appellate court and remanded the case for further proceedings. Although the decision was unanimous, Justice Scalia did not join footnotes 6 and 7 of Justice Ginsburg’s opinion for the Court.
To discuss the case, we have Kyndra Rotunda, who is an Associate Professor of Military & International Law and Executive Director of the Military Law & Policy Institute & AMVETS Legal Clinic. She is also a Lecturer at Berkeley School of Law.