TSA screening can feel to some people like sexual assault but the government says that it isn’t. But what if a TSA screener actually assaults you at the checkpoint? The TSA has argued you shouldn’t be allowed to sue if they hit you in the groin.
A federal appeals court has already ruled that even if a TSA screener has you arrested and lies under oath that you cannot sue, because 9/11.
Now the Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit says that you cannot sue a TSA screener for “assaults, false arrests and other abuses” precisely because they aren’t really “investigative or law enforcement officers” and thus are shielded by the Federal Tort Claims Act.
TSA wants to call its screeners ‘officers’ except when doing so could expose them to liability for actually attacking passengers. The Court said to passengers, ‘sorry not sorry’.
The majority said it was “sympathetic” to concerns that its decision would leave fliers with “very limited legal redress” for alleged mistreatment by aggressive or overzealous screeners, which add to the ordinary stresses of air travel.