State and federal governments and their employees have some degree of protection in a lawsuit. Sovereign immunity has carried over into modern times, protecting government agencies from civil litigation. There are exceptions to this, as detailed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows for people injured by a government employee acting within the scope of their duties who was acting in a negligent manner to sue the government for damages. Unlike suing a privately-owned company, such as an insurance carrier, suing the federal government has its own set of rules and a strict process and statutes of limitations.
The Fort Greene-Clinton Hill New York Patch reports that an accident in Brooklyn with a mail truck has left a woman with $50k in medical bills.
Valerie Goeings-Rock is suing the U.S. Postal Service and one of its drivers, John J. Heckstall, for slamming into her car.
The lawsuit does not specify the date or time of the accident, but it does state that it occurred in front of 3 Lafayette Avenue, an area that was a construction zone at the time.
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Due to the work occurring on both sides of the street, the sidewalks were closed off and the street narrowed down to one lane. Goeings-Rock was driving a Toyota Station Wagon in the left lane when she came up to the section of road that went from two lanes to just one. She signaled and began to slowly merge into the center lane.
Heckstall was driving a freight liner van belonging to the USPS when he failed to yield to Goeings-Rock. In an attempt to pass Goeings-Rock while her vehicle was stopped, he sideswiped the vehicle.
Goeings-Rock had to go to the hospital following the crash and has since accrued medical bills totaling $50,000.
The lawsuit claims that in addition to her medical bills, Goeings-Rock continues to suffer from pain, emotional and physical distress, as well as loss of enjoyment and quality of life.
Goeings-Rock’s lawsuit is seeking $1 million to cover her damages. The USPS has not responded to requests for comment.