By Daniel A. Lauretano, Supervisory Attorney Advisor, Chief, Claims Division, OSJA
The Fort Meade Claims Office is designated an Area Claims Office.
The office is responsible for handling all claims such as federal tort and affirmative claims occurring on Fort Meade, and most of Maryland and Pennsylvania when the damage or harm is negligently caused by a government employee or military member using government property such as government vehicle.
A PCE is any event occurring on the Fort Meade installation that may result in a tort claim filed against the U.S. government. A PCE may involve the serious damage of government property, or death or harm of a person on the installation.
An example of a PCE is a situation in which the family member of an active-duty Soldier trips and falls at the commissary or the Exchange, breaking a leg or injuring his back. Another PCE may involve a vehicle collision between a government vehicle and another vehicle on or off the installation.
If you witness a PCE as an employee or patron, in addition to reporting the incident to the police, you should also report the incident to the Installation Safety Office at 301-677-2396 and the Fort Meade Claims Office at 301-677-9960.
The Fort Meade Claims Office focuses on investigating the cause of the incident, preservation of evidence, processing claims and defending the U.S. government. However, the Installation Safety Office focuses on implementing the Army’s safety program on Fort Meade by investigating the incident, recommending corrective action, and communicating best practices and share lessons learned.
The ISO is staffed with professionals who are trained in accident investigations and preservation of evidence.
Whenever there is an accident or incident, there are many who have an interest in knowing and an obligation to do something about the accident or incident. That includes the military unit, the command and Worker’s Compensation Office. But initially, always remember, Police-Safety-Claims.
At a minimum, information provided should include the date, time and place of the incident; the injured party and witness information; a brief description of the incident; and the name of the employee or organization making the report.
By reporting a PCE event, you help ensure immediate assistance to those injured, an immediate investigation, preservation of evidence, and avoidance of repeat incidents through elimination of the danger and lessons learned.
Questions concerning Serious Claims Incident Reporting should be referred to the Claims Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 4217 Roberts Ave., Fort Meade, MD 20755-5030.
For more information, call 301-677-9960.
Editor’s note: This article was coordinated with the Installation Safety Office.