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Oberson v. Department of Agric.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20031
Nos. Nos. 04-35268, -35315, (9th Cir., 01/30/2008)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court judgment finding the U.S. Forest Service liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for failing to correct or warn of a dangerous condition on a snowmobile trail that led to an individual becoming gravely injured. The discretionary function exception to the FTCA did not shield the Forest Service from liability. The Forest Service knew of the hazard through its own investigation prior to the accident, and there is no evidence that the agency's failure to post a warning or to remedy the hazard was the product of a policy choice. In addition, the Forest Service's actions were negligent under Montana law.