PHOENIX (Reuters) – ” A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry has been dismissed by a federal judge on the grounds that a court settlement would interfere with the powers of the U.S. government, which has a compensation scheme of its own.
Terry died in a shoot-out with Mexican drug cartel gunmen in southern Arizona in December 2010 in a case tied to a flawed bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, gun-running operation that embarrassed the Obama administration and strained relations with Mexico.”
If you wade through the fine print you will find that the government has created a loophole that allows them to avoid any responsibility in the wrongful deaths of it’s employees .
” Last year Terry’s parents, Kent and Josephine Terry, filed a $25 million wrongful-death claim against prosecutors and ATF agents alleging they acted in violation of their own policies and that so-called “Fast and Furious” operation negligently allowed the weapons to be bought by violent criminals.
In a written ruling released on Friday, District Judge David G. Campbell found that federal law and prior U.S. Supreme Court rulings barred such damages because the U.S. Congress has passed laws providing compensation – including death benefits – for survivors of federal officers killed in the line of duty.
“The Court recognizes that Plaintiffs have suffered a great loss, and that any financial remedy is likely insufficient to redress their injury,” Campbell said in the eight-page ruling.
“But as the Supreme Court has made clear, the bedrock principle of separation of powers counsels against judicially-created remedies when Congress has established a remedial scheme,” he added.
An attorney representing Terry’s family said they planned to appeal the ruling.”
Basically , by establishing a compensation fund for government employees , they have insulated themselves from any further scrutiny in the way of culpability when the government fails to provide the necessary support of it’s agents in the field .
While somewhat understandable in it’s design of protecting the taxpayers from excessive punitive awards it is a double-edged sword in helping the government cover it’s collective a** in times of screw-ups .