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Atherton v. United States

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20066
Nos. 14-cv-02160, (D.D.C., 03/30/2016) (Cooper, J.)

A district court dismissed an individual's Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) lawsuit against the United States for allegedly causing him to suffer severe emotional trauma and harm to his "internal organs" after he woke up to the sound of a U.S. Park Police helicopter flying overhead. The helicopter was investigating a report of gunshots fired near the man's residence. But because the helicopter pilot’s chosen method of flight was grounded in the Park Police’s policy of assisting local law-enforcement operations, the FTCA’s “discretionary function” exception to the United States’ waiver of sovereign immunity applies. The lawsuit, therefore, was dismissed.