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Dolan v. United States Postal Service

Docket No.: 04-848
Certiorari Granted: Apr 25 2005
Argued: November 7, 2005
Decided: February 20, 2006

Topics:

Economic Activity, Governmental Liability

PartyNames: Barbara Dolan v. United States Postal Service, et al.
Petitioner: Barbara Dolan
Respondent: United States Postal Service, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Barbara Dolan
v.
United States Postal Service, et al.
546 U.S. 481 (2006)
Question Presented:

Does not this case - which involved a determination of whether the district court had jurisdiction over the claim of plaintiff when her injury was caused by the negligent placement of mail at the place of delivery - call for an exercise of this Courts supervisory power where there is a dispute between the circuits of the Court of Appeals as to whether the exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2680 (b) barred this lawsuit and where the Third Circuit narrowly construed the Act? (Answered in the negative by the Court below) QUESTION AS RESTATED IN PETITIONER'S BRIEF: Whether a claim for personal injury caused by the negligence of a United States Postal Service employee while delivering mail is barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2680(b), the exception to the government's waiver of sovereign immunity in the Federal Tort Claims Act for claims "arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter."

Question:

Does the exception of "negligent transmission of letters or postal matter" from the general waiver of sovereign immunity in the Federal Tort Claims Act cover the negligent placement of mail at its final destination, when that placement causes injury?

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 7-1
Recused: Alito
Opinion By:
Read DOLAN V. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE opinion (PDF)

Other Resources for Dolan v. United States Postal Service:
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