Friday, August 26, 2005

Adams v. Thomas Helicopters (9th Cir. - Aug. 23, 2005)

Here's a case for the statutory intepretation (and "plain language") folks out there. The Dictionary Act (Section 1 of Title 1) states that the term "person" as used in federal statues includes corporations unless the context of the statute indicates otherwise. The Federal Torts Claims Act allows "persons" acting on behalf of the US to be certified as covered under the FTCA. Does that include corporations?

Judge Thompson says: "No." It's an interesting (and hardly facile) issue whether the policy analysist hat he employs legitimately establishes that the context of the FTCA provides sufficient support for this conclusion, particularly given the relevant statutory language. But that it's a tough issue only makes the opinion more worth reading.