Gonzalez v. United States, No. 13-15218 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Three masked intruders entered plaintiff's home, fatally shooting her husband and daughter, and shooting plaintiff in the arm. Plaintiff and her surviving daughter filed suit alleging that the United States is liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346(b)(1), 2680(a), for damages arising out of the attack because the FBI negligently failed to disclose the information about the impending home invasion to local law enforcement, in contravention of the Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations. The district court granted the United States' motion to dismiss. The court concluded that the FBI’s decision whether or not to disclose information regarding potential threats is discretionary; the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying discovery; the FBI’s decision whether to disclose information is the type of decision that Congress intended to shield from FTCA liability; and the design-implementation distinction does not apply to permit suit against the government in this case. Therefore, the district court properly concluded that the government satisfied both prongs of the discretionary function exception. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.