Claim Requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act: Minimal Notice or Substantial Documentation?

This Note finds both the Adams and Swift positions unsatisfactory. Part I contends that Adams misconstrued the legislative history of the FTCA amendments by applying a minimal notice standard and then argues that Swift contravenes the amendments’ fairness policy by permitting ambiguous, overreaching documentation requests. Part II contends that courts should interpret section 2675’s “presented the claim” language as an accommodation between two competing Congressional objectives: presuit claims settlement and fair treatment of claimants. The Note proposes that until the Department of Justice modifies its current claims regulations, courts should toll the statute of limitations whenever an individual’s claim includes the information requested on Standard Form 95. However, the statute of limitations should begin to run again if the claimant fails to comply with unambiguous documentation requests that demand information ordinarily discoverable tinder the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.