Torts – Federal Tort Claims Act – Liability of United States for Negligence of Government Firemen

Plaintiff brought suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the United States for damages resulting from the negligence of the United States Forest Service in combating a fire that destroyed plaintiff’s property. The Forest Service had entered into an agreement with the State of Washington to prevent and suppress any fires in the area in which plaintiff’s land was situated. The federal district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action and the court of appeals affirmed. On certiorari, to the United States Supreme Court, held, judgment vacated and case remanded to the district court for trial. The United States is liable under the act for the negligence of government fire fighters in the performance of their duties. Rayonier, Inc. v. United States, 352 U.S. 315 (1957).