Feres Doctrine

A scale on a table in a courtroom

The Feres Doctrine

This 1950 U.S. Supreme Court case found that the United States is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries to members of the Armed Forces that occurred while the service member was on active duty (and not on furlough) and which resulted from the negligence of others in the Armed Forces.

The practical effect of the Feres Doctrine is to bar service members from collecting damages for personal injuries, whether or not they were suffered in the performance of their duties. It also bars family members from filing "wrongful death" or "loss of consortium" claims when a service member is killed or injured. 

The case is Feres, Executrix v. United States, 340 U.S. 135 (1950)

 

Updated January 2018