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Federal Tort Claim



I filed a FTCA claim for the wrongful death of my father at the Denver VAMC. I've been waiting 403 days so far. I've had frequent contact with the VA attorney handing my claim and he keeps asking for 30 day extensions every month. Has anyone else experienced the same treatment of their FTCA claim and if so how long did your claim take?

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Guest fla_viking

Dear Veteran

The court normally grants 2 extensions. The 3rd they start looking hard at the VA. If it goes beyound that you can oppose and the court will probly grant your motion opposing the VA extensions.

Terry Higgins

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I was just talking to VA counsel about something like this. I filed a FTCA claim last month.

In this case they have 6 months to decide it-otherwise I can take them to federal court.

It was a property damage claim. I expect the whole issue will be resolved before the 6 months are up.

However-in my last FTCA for wrongful death- VA counsel had actually made a favorable decision within 6 months on that claim.This decision was generated by a medical report that counsel had ordered from the Chief of Staff of the local VAMC. Within months of filing the claim, VA wanted to award a settlement.

All of that documentation suddenly disappeared.As well as the regional counsel and the doctor- they retired.

The whole matter went to the General Counsel in Washington.Both VA regional counsel and the doctor assured me that this report should have been in the files at the VARO.I spoke to them both after they retired.Attempts I made under the FOIA did not produce this report or any documentation of what VA counsel told me as to taking it over to the RO himself for the Sec 1151 claim.

VA said that this evidence did not exist , never existed, and they had to get additional medical reviews done,and the whole thing took over 2 more years.

So all in all- my initial FTCA claim was worked on- I recall they did ask for extensions, and yet it took

over two years more to be settled.

When I asked for a copy of my c file some years ago- the medical report counsel had ordered, that did not exist-was, of course, right in the c file.

I used this report to support my SMC CUE claim recently.

I asked the VA to subpeona records of the former VA doctor and also former regional VA counsel so that they have a copy of this report as- even though it is in the c file,- it might mysteriously vanish again.

My claim went to regional counsel last week.Maybe this is why.

Keep on them Otey and keep a good record of what they say and do at counsel's office.If you are granting them the extensions, this means they will work the claim and you cannot file suit in federal court as long as those extensions are granted.

They usually get an opinion from their medical team at VACO.

After that opinion is rendered, and if it supported the FTCA claim, they want to settle right away.

Some states have a state cap on settlements like this. If I were you I would check the state cap and get as much as you can up to the cap amount.

Are you dealing directly with General Counsel in DC or a regional lawyer for VA?

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My FCTA took about 3 years to get resolved. FYI, my attorney did not know that on a FTCA she was limited to getting 25 % of my award but the attorney general made her aware of that at mediation.

Good luck,


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