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Abreu v. Rumsfeld

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20231
Nos. No. 05-1889, (1st Cir., 11/14/2006)

The court dismissed individuals' Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) suit against the U.S. military for personal injury and property damage resulting from the U.S. Navy's operation of a training facility on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. It is undisputed that the discretionary function exception generally precludes FTCA claims based on the Navy’s operation of the training facility. Moreover, the Navy did not violate any federal statutes in a way that would render the discretionary function exception inapplicable: the Navy had a valid national pollutant discharge elimination system permit prior to conducting ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore live fire exercises; allowing the recovery of damages in a FTCA suit based on the violation of a mandatory Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permitting requirement would undermine the intent of Congress to preclude compensatory damages awards for RCRA violations; and the Noise Control Act does not apply to the Navy's live-fire exercises. The court, therefore, lacked subject matter jurisdiction.