43.1203 Liability of government-Exceptions.

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(a) The government is liable, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, but is not liable for interest prior to judgment or for punitive damages, except that in a case wherein death is caused and the law of the place where the act or omission complained of occurred provides, or has been construed to provide, for damages only punitive in nature, the government is liable for actual or compensatory damages, measured by the pecuniary injuries resulting from such death to the persons respectively for whose benefit the action was brought.

(b) The provisions of this chapter do not apply to:

(1) any claim based upon act or omission of an employee of the government exercising due care in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether such statute or regulation is valid;

(2) any claim based upon the exercise or performance of, or the failure to exercise or perform, a discretionary function or duty on the part of an officer or employee, whether or not the discretion involved is abused;

(3) any claim regarding the assessment or collection of any tax or customs duty, or the detention of any goods or merchandise, by any law officer, customs or tax officer, or any other law enforcement officer;

(4) any claim for which a remedy is provided elsewhere in the laws of the government;

(5) 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;

(6) any claim arising in a foreign country.

(c) Action under this section may not be instituted for any sum in excess of the amount of the claim presented to the Attorney General under 43.1205, except where the increased amount is based upon newly discovered evidence not reasonably discoverable at the time of presenting the claim to the Attorney General, or upon allegation and proof of intervening facts, relating to the amount of the claim.

History: 1967, PL 10-1.

Case Notes:

Discretionary function exemption designed for policy decisions. K.MJ.D.C. v. Marine Railway, A5R (1979).

Section does not constitute waiver of sovereign immunity from suit allowing right of action against territorial government under federal civil rights statutes, Ferstie v. A.S.G., 4 A.S.R. 2d 160 (1987)(mern).

The sum-certain requirement for administrative claims filed against ASG is both statutorily and administratively an integral part of the jurisdictional administrative-claim process. A.S.C.A. § 43.1203(c); A.S.A.C. § 43.0103(a). Bryant v. Southwest Marine of Samoa, Inc., 23 A.S.R.2d 55 (1992).

Government Tort Liability Act does not constitute waiver of immunity from suit so as to give right of action against territorial government under federal civil rights law. A.S.C.A. § 43.1203 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Ferstle v. American Samoa Government, 4 A.S.R.2d 160 (1987).

In a civil action for personal injury caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a government employee acting within the scope of his office or employment, the government is liable in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, subject to a number of specific exceptions. A.S.C.A. § 43.1203(a). Tauiliili v. American Samoa Government, 13 A.S.R.2d 61 (1989).

Complaint alleging facts which could, if proved at trial, warrant statutory remedy would not be dismissed for failure to state a claim, despite alternative possibility that case could prove to be within exception to statutory remedy. T.C.R.C.P. Rule 12(b)(6); A.S.C.A. § 43.1203(b)(5). Tevaseu v. American Samoa Government, 5 A.S.R.2d 10 (1987).