United States v. Stanley
|United States v. Stanley|
Supreme Court of the United States
|Argued April 21, 1987
Decided June 25, 1987
|Full case name||United States, et al. v. James B. Stanley|
|Citations||483 U.S. 669 (more)
107 S. Ct. 3054; 97 L. Ed. 2d 550; 1987 U.S. LEXIS 2890; 55 U.S.L.W. 5101
|Servicemen may not maintain a Bivens action for injuries arising out of activity "incident to service."|
|Majority||Scalia, joined by Rehnquist, White, Blackmun, Powell; Brennan, Marshall, Stevens, O'Connor (part I)|
|Concur/dissent||Brennan, joined by Marshall; Stevens (part III)|
United States v. Stanley, 483 U.S. 669 (1987), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that a serviceman could not file a tort action against the federal government, even though the government secretly administered doses of LSD to the serviceman as part of an experimental program, because his injuries were found by the lower court to be service-related.
In February 1958, James B. Stanley, a master sergeant in the Army stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, volunteered for what he thought was a chemical warfare testing program, but instead Stanley was secretly administered lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in a US Army plan to test the effects of the drug on human subjects (see Project MKUltra).
Stanley claimed that as a result of the LSD exposure, he suffered from hallucinations, periods of incoherence, and memory loss due to his unawareness of having taken the drug. He suffered severe personality changes that led to his discharge and the dissolution of his marriage.
Stanley filed a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) alleging negligence in the administration, supervision, and subsequent monitoring of the experimental program.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the serviceman could assert his claims under the FTCA and refused to dismiss the serviceman's Bivens claims.
Opinion of the Court 
After granting certiorari, the Supreme Court held that the circuit court had no jurisdiction to give orders to dismiss FTCA claims. The Supreme Court also held there was no Bivens claim for the serviceman's injuries because the lower court ruled the injuries occurred during Stanley's military service.
- Text of United States v. Stanley, 483 U.S. 669 (1987) is available from: Justia