It is ordinarily quite difficult for a single individual to successfully sue a large business or corporation. These firms have so much talent and money at their disposal that they can often drag a court case on for years–which generally forces the opposition to throw in the proverbial towel. But it’s often even more challenging when the defendant is the U.S. government. Why is this?
Not only is federal government several times larger than the world’s richest corporations, it is also protected from tort claims by “immunity,” a concept that entitles the government to hear or dismiss a case based on its own discretion. There are exceptions, of course.
Impaled by a tree limb, a Georgia woman successfully sued the city of Savannah and won a judgment of $9.5 million. How did she do it?
For one thing, the injury resulted in the amputation of one of her legs and permanent brain damage. For another, she refused to abandon the case and followed the rules the government requires for filing an injury claim against it. This case demonstrates that when plaintiffs are meticulous and do what they must, the government will renounce immunity protection and either grant damages or come to a reasonable settlement.