United States District Court, D. Delaware
Alfonso Douglas Kraft, Smyrna, Delaware; Pro Se Plaintiff.
C. Weiss, United States Attorney and Laura D. Hatcher,
Assistant United States Attorney, District of Delaware,
Wilmington, Delaware; Counsel for Defendant.
ANDREWS, U.S. District Judge
Alfonso Douglas Kraft, who proceeds pro se, filed
this action on December 14, 2016. (D.I. 1). Before the Court
is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (D.I. 6).
Briefing on the matter is complete.
February 2, 2016, Plaintiff filed an action in this Court
against the VA Hospital in Elsmere, Delaware, Kraft v. VA
Hosp., Civ. No. 16-060-SLR ("Civ. No.
16-060-SLR"). The Complaint, dated February 1, 2016, was
filed on a Standard Form 95 - Claim for Damage, Injury, or
Death ("SF-95"), a form used to lodge an
administrative tort claim against a federal agency under the
Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"). Civ. No.
16-060-SLR at D.I. 1. It alleged Plaintiff was injured on
February 4, 2014, during his hospitalization at the VA
Hospital. Civ. No. 16-060-SLR was dismissed on May 31, 2016,
after Plaintiff failed to comply with an order to file a
responsive brief to the VA Hospital's motion to dismiss.
See Civ. No. 16-060-SLR at D.I. 7.
commenced this action on December 14, 2016. (D.I. 1). It
appears that Plaintiff reasserts his claim for injuries as a
result of the February 4, 2014 incident at the VA Hospital
pursuant to the FTCA, similar to the claim raised in Civ. No.
support of its motion, Defendant filed the declaration of
Paul L. Kranick whose duties include oversight and
administration of tort claims filed against the United States
Department of Veterans Affairs with the Philadelphia Office
of District Counsel. (D.I. 6-1). Kranick reviewed the
agency's administrative tort claim files which include
any claims filed against the Wilmington VA Medical Center.
(Id. at U 3). Kranick states that Plaintiff did not
file an SF-95 for any alleged injury sustained at any time at
the Wilmington VA Medical Center prior to filing the
complaint in Civ. No. 16-060-SLR. (Id.) Nor did
Plaintiff submit an SF-95 to the Department of Veterans
Affairs once Civ. No. 16-060-SLR was dismissed on May 31,
February 10, 2016, the United States Attorney's Office
for the District of Delaware wrote to Plaintiff to advise him
that it had learned from the Civ. No. 16-060-SLR Court docket
that Plaintiff had filed an SF-95 form on February 2, 2016,
and that it was docketed as a "Complaint." (D.I. 16
at Ex. A). The letter advised Plaintiff that he could serve
the SF-95 on the VA by delivering it to the VA hospital in
Elsmere, if he wished to initiate its administrative
consideration of his claim, but that the SF-95 must be timely
presented. (Id.). On an unknown date, but sometime
after Plaintiff commenced Civ. No. 16-060-SLR on February 2,
2016, the United States Attorney's Office for the
District of Delaware forwarded the SF-95 form (dated February
1, 2016) filed as the complaint in Civ. No. 16-060-SLR, to
the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division,
Torts Branch, Federal Tort Claims Act Staff in Washington,
D.C. It received the SF-95 form on March 6, 2016. (D.I. 6-2).
On April 7, 2016, the Civil Division Torts Branch of the U.S.
Department of Justice sent Plaintiff a letter informing him
that his "administrative tort claim dated February 1,
2016, which [he] submitted to the Department of Justice"
had been forwarded to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the
appropriate agency. (D.I. 6-2). The Department of Veterans
Affairs received the letter on April 12, 2016. (See
D.I. 6-1 at ¶ 4; 6-2). On May 3, 2016, the Department of
Veterans Affairs acknowledged receipt of Plaintiffs
administrative claim and advised Plaintiff that it would be
processed under the provisions of the FTCA. (D.I. 8 at p.22).
Plaintiff commenced this action on December 14, 2016.
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). When determining whether a genuine issue
of material fact exists, the court must view the evidence in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v.
Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007). A dispute is
"genuine" only if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242,
moves for summary judgment on the grounds that the claim is
time-barred if Plaintiff seeks to recover for injuries he
sustained in February 2014 when he was hospitalized at the VA
Hospital. (D.I. 6). Plaintiff submitted his voluminous
medical record in opposition to Defendant's motion and
argues that the documents are verification that the VA
Elsmere did not investigate his case correctly and gave an
unjust ruling on his case. (D.I. 13, 14). Plaintiff states
that he "sent all proper forms to them and they
lied." (Id.) Plaintiff's opposition does
not address whether he timely submitted his administrative
extent Plaintiff renews the claim for injuries he sustained
while hospitalized at the VA Hospital in February 2014, the
claim is governed by the FTCA, which allows a plaintiff to
seek damages from the United States for certain torts
committed by federal employees. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1346(b), 2674, 2675(a). The FTCA requires a
claimant to first file an administrative claim with the
relevant federal agency and have his claim denied or deemed
denied before the claimant is permitted to file suit in
court. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2674, 2675(a). The
FTCA provides that "a tort claim against the United
States shall be forever barred unless it is presented in
writing to the appropriate Federal agency within two years
after such claim accrues or unless ...