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Mon Dec 14, 2020, 11:35 PM

At what point can a group of citizens sue their government/ leaders for endangering their lives?

Last edited Tue Dec 15, 2020, 04:00 PM - Edit history (1)

I just read several articles that said the WH Coronavirus task force has been advising the state of FL for weeks or longer that its Covid rate of infection trend line was unacceptably high AND that the state needed to take more active measures to control the spread. The state did nothing. The state refused to release the substance of the task force's advice for this period but it was discovered by others and reported.

Assuming this is all as bad as reported, at what point can families that lost loved ones recently and those infected recently sue the state/ governor for what is essentially dereliction of duty, wrongful death, pain, suffering, etc., etc.? I have to believe one of the paramount duties of government per the FL constitution is to protect health and safety. Had they no way to know of the danger, no reasonable courses of action as shown by other states/precedent, one could say it was unknowable what the result would be as bad as it is or why. But that is not the case. Just the opposite. I certainly hope DeSantis gets cashiered out like Scott Walker in WI was but this seems to need much more than simple electoral defeat to send a very needed message that there is a cost to governmental/official irresponsibility to those running the show.

Thoughts?

Thanks to all that responded. Just read that the guy (an attorney) who has been wandering around crowded beaches and bars in FL dressed as the Grim Reaper, just filed suit against DeSantis for the poor Covid response according to an article in The Guardian. Will be interesting to see where it goes!

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Reply At what point can a group of citizens sue their government/ leaders for endangering their lives? (Original post)
dutch777 Dec 2020 OP
Hoyt Dec 2020 #1
MerryBlooms Dec 2020 #2
dutch777 Dec 2020 #3
MerryBlooms Dec 2020 #4
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2020 #5
onenote Dec 2020 #6
Karadeniz Dec 2020 #7
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2020 #8
Karadeniz Dec 2020 #9
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2020 #10
KY_EnviroGuy Dec 2020 #13
Meowmee Dec 2020 #11
beachbumbob Dec 2020 #12

Response to dutch777 (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2020, 11:36 PM

1. On election day.

 

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Response to dutch777 (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2020, 11:50 PM

2. Maybe part of the reason mcconnell is so against employees being able

to sue employers for covid exposure? Don't really know, but with all the employees exposed by republicans and their donors, makes sense to me, that would be one reason for his stance. republicans believe in spreading the virus far and wide, and they don't want to pay workman's comp or be held responsible in any way for killing and maiming people, or the expenses to those people's families. republicans sit back and giggle as they make millions off of suffering and death. They're receiving the magical cure, vaccine... Investing in body bags. They're smiling while murdering us in broad daylight, and their followers are cheering them on and proud of that accomplishment.

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Response to MerryBlooms (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 12:02 AM

3. I really saw McC's advocacy as just protecting Repub's corporate buddies but....

...your extension of logic certainly fits his/their sick pattern. For those hurt and hurting in FL, file those lawsuits early to get to class action status and be ahead of this evil curve!

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Response to dutch777 (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 12:15 AM

4. Thousands of employees under these killers in all 50 states.

Not to mention the parties going on now in DC and staff required to work or be fired. Secret service members have been hit hard... republicans are directly on the hook for a lot of death and disability up on The Hill. State republicans have intentionally exposed their Democratic colleagues and staff.

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Response to dutch777 (Original post)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 12:25 AM

5. They can't. There are legal doctrines of sovereign or discretionary immunity

that protect government officials against liability for harm arising from policy decisions made in their official capacity.

The FTCA [Federal Tort Claims Act] (and most state tort claims acts) preserve immunity from tort liability for the discretionary acts of government employees. This discretionary function exception is perhaps the most notable and complex exception to FTCA liability.

A discretionary function is an act involving an exercise of personal judgment. The basis for the discretionary function exception to the FTCA is the legislative branch's desire to prevent judicial second-guessing through tort actions of legislative and administrative decisions grounded in social, economic, and political policy. The federal government retains immunity from tort liability for itself and its employees for the performance or nonperformance of discretionary functions. This immunity is granted when the act in question requires the exercise of judgment in carrying out official duties. Discretionary immunity applies unless a plaintiff can show that a reasonable person in the official's position would have known that the action was illegal or beyond the scope of that official's legal authority. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982).
https://biotech.law.lsu.edu/map/DiscretionaryActs.html

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 12:35 AM

6. +1

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 01:20 AM

7. Does this mean Trump can't be sued for depraved indifference homicides? That will break my heart!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 01:23 AM

8. Afraid so.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 01:25 AM

9. AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Curses

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 01:28 AM

10. There's also a case specifically dealing with presidents and civil liability:

In Nixon v. Fitzgerald, the Supreme Court held that the President is entitled to absolute immunity from legal liability for civil damages based on his official acts.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 05:06 AM

13. On the other hand....

supporting and helping to enforce obedience to sound, proven medical science is not in any way discretionary. It is a mandatory, humanitarian obligation. The fact is, they actively and publicly contradicted international scientific recommendations purely for the benefit of business interests.

The only decision was simply to do one's assigned job and obey their oath of office.

They're only getting away with this criminal negligence because we're at war with with an invisible foe whose battle tactics produce delayed effects approximately 5-to-10 days after an assault.

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Response to dutch777 (Original post)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 01:41 AM

11. I don't know all of the legalities

But apparently you can sue gov officials in certain cases according to this website link which says the federal tort claims acts waives federal immunity in some cases.

https://www.lauretilaw.com/post/can-you-sue-the-government-for-negligence

In Italy families sued the local governments for their policies and what happened when their relatives were denied care and died due to covid. I havenít checked recently to see what came of it.

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Response to dutch777 (Original post)

Tue Dec 15, 2020, 04:44 AM

12. Qualified immunity stops all accountability

 

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