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Church v. United States

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division

October 31, 2014

Eugene Church, Plaintiff,
v.
The United States of America, Defendant.

ORDER

TIMOTHY M. CAIN, District Judge.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this action pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"). (ECF No. 1). In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02, D.S.C., this matter was referred to a magistrate judge for pretrial handling. Before the court is the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation ("Report"), recommending the court to grant the Government's Motion to Dismiss, or alternatively Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 22) because the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over FTCA claim. (ECF No. 28). Plaintiff filed timely objections. (ECF No. 30).

The Report has no presumptive weight and the responsibility to make a final determination in this matter remains with this court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). In making that determination, the court is charged with conducting a de novo review of those portions of the Report to which either party specifically objects. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Then, the court may accept, reject, or modify the Report or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge. See id.

Although Plaintiff filed objections to the Report, his objections are irrelevant as to whether he was working for the prison at the time of his alleged injury.[1] See (ECF No. 30). The issue in this case is whether Plaintiff is barred from filing suit under the FTCA because it is covered by the exclusive remedy provided for in the Inmate Accident Compensation Act ("IACA").

The IACA provides the exclusive remedy for inmates to recover for work-related inmate injuries. United States v. Demko, 385 U.S. 149, 153 (1966); see also 28 C.F.R. § 301.319 ("Inmates who are subject to the provisions of these Inmate Accident Compensation regulations are barred from recovery under the Federal Tort Claims Act."). Plaintiff did not object to-nor could he have-the magistrate judge's holding that his injuries arose during the course of work at the prison. Accordingly, the court finds Plaintiff's objections without merit.

In sum, the court finds that the Report's analysis is thorough and accurate and, therefore, adopts the Report and incorporates it herein in its entirety. The court therefore GRANTS the Government's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 22) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Therefore, the court ORDERS that the complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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