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43.1211 Action against government exclusive remedy-Defense and settlement of other actions.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 43.1211]

(a) The remedy by suit against the government as provided by this chapter for damage to or loss of property, or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, shall hereafter be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding by reason of the same subject matter against the employee whose act or omission gave rise to the claim, or his estate.

(b) The Attorney General shall defend any civil action or proceeding brought in American Samoa against any employee of the government, or his estate, for any such damage or injury. The employee against whom such civil action or proceeding is brought shall deliver within such time after date of service or knowledge of service as determined by the Attorney General, all process served upon him or an attested true copy thereof to his immediate superior and that person shall promptly furnish copies of the pleadings and process therein to the Attorney General.

(c) The Attorney General may compromise or settle any claim asserted in such civil action or proceeding in the manner provided in 43.1210 and with the same effect.

History: 1967, PL 10-1.

Case Notes:

Court granted motion to strike named defendants LBJ Tropical Medical Center and individual government doctor because medical center is not an entity capable of being sued, and government tort liability act precludes naming individual employees as defendants. Aga v. American Samoa Government, 3 ASR2d 130 (1986).

Territorial statute has the effect of immunizing territorial employees from personal liability for torts they commit while acting within the scope of their employment, provided that the injured person chooses to proceed against the government employer. A.S.C.A. § 43.1211(a). Tevaseu v. American Samoa Government, 5 A.S.R.2d 10 (1987).

Individual government employee should not be stricken as defendant in a suit against territorial government under government tort liability statute unless and until it is shown that the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the alleged injury. A.S.C.A. § 43.1211(a). Tevaseu v. American Samoa Government, 5 A.S.R.2d 10 (1987).

Statute immunizing government employees from personal liability for wrongful acts committed within the scope of their employment bars suit against employee only after it has been established that the wrongful conduct underlying the claim was committed within the scope of employment. A.S.C.A. § 43.1211(a). Lutu v. American Samoa Government, 7 A.S.R.2d 61 (1988).