Booth v. United States, No. 16-17084 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), alleging that a United States agency caused the death of plaintiff's father while plaintiff was a minor. The panel held that the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Wong, 135 S. Ct. 1625 (2015), did not suggest, let alone hold, that minority tolling applied to the FTCA. The panel also held that minority tolling was a separate statutory matter from equitable tolling of FTCA. In this case, plaintiff's father died in a car accident on an Arizona highway just before plaintiff's tenth birthday. Plaintiff was fifteen years old when his mother filed an administrative claim and sixteen years old at the time she filed the lawsuit. The panel held that plaintiff's claims were time-barred.
Court Description: Federal Tort Claims Act. The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the United States in a Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) action alleging that a United States agency negligently caused plaintiff’s father’s death while plaintiff was a minor. The district court found that the claims were time-barred because the minor’s representative submitted them too late. The minor argued on appeal that his minority should have operated to toll the statute of limitations on his claims. The panel held that there is no minority tolling of the FTCA’s statute of limitations. The panel further held that the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Wong, 135 * This case was submitted to a panel that included Judge Kozinski, who retired. Following Judge Kozinski’s retirement, Judge Berzon was drawn by lot to replace him. Ninth Circuit General Order 3.2.h. Judge Berzon has read the briefs and reviewed the record. ** The Honorable Sara Lee Ellis, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, sitting by designation. BOOTH V. UNITED STATES 3 S. Ct. 1625 (2015), did not suggest, let alone hold, that minority tolling applied to the FTCA. The panel also held that minority alone does not merit equitable tolling of the FTCA’s statute of limitations. Accordingly, the panel affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of the government.