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Finley v. United States

United States Supreme Court
490 U.S. 545 (1989)

Finley v. United States


After her husband and children were killed in a plane crash, Finley (plaintiff) sued a gas company for negligently positioning transmission lines and the city of San Diego for negligently maintaining airport runway lights in state court. Finley also sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in federal court under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for negligently maintaining the runway lights. Finley moved to amend her federal complaint so that it would include the claims she asserted against the defendants she sued in state court. The federal court had no independent jurisdiction over Finley’s state court claims. The district court granted Finley’s motion to amend and asserted pendent jurisdiction over the state court claims. The district court certified an interlocutory appeal and the appellate court reversed, finding that there was no pendent-party jurisdiction under the FTCA. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari and held that the FTCA does not permit an assertion of pendent jurisdiction over other nonfederal parties to related claims. The Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s reversal and rejection of pendent-party jurisdiction under the FTCA.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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