Postal Service can face injury lawsuits

Feb. 23, 2006 at 10:16 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court says the U.S. Postal Service can be sued by people who are harmed by tripping over mail.

The court's 7-1 decision, handed down Wednesday, said lower courts had wrongly interpreted a law that protects the Postal Service from some tort claims. Justice Anthony Kennedy said those protections extend to late or damaged mail, but not to personal injury, The Washington Post reported.

The case stemmed from legal action taken by a Pennsylvania woman who claimed she tripped over mail left on her porch. A federal district judge in Philadelphia dismissed the case but this week's Supreme Court decision allows the woman to proceed with the lawsuit, the Post said.

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented and Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the decision.

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