Tort Claim

Office of the General Counsel

How to File a Tort Claim

If you become injured or your property is damaged and you believe that the injury or damage was caused by the negligence or wrongful act or omission of the Smithsonian or its employee acting within the scope of his or her official duties, you may file a tort claim against the Smithsonian Institution. The Institution processes claims in accordance with the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b) and §§ 2671-2680. To file a claim, complete these steps:

1.  Complete Standard Form 95. Explain in detail what happened, using additional pages if necessary. Make sure you specify the total amount of money you seek in block 12d and sign the form in block 13a.

2.  Attach all documents that support your claim, which may include the following: 

  • For property damage: Attach relevant receipts, estimates, invoices for repairs, and photographs of the damaged item. If the item cannot be repaired, provide the age of the item and its purchase price. If you were involved in a car accident, send a copy of the police report.
  • For personal injury: Attach medical records, including the doctor’s diagnosis, records of treatment, treatment plans, receipts, medical bills, and a statement indicating what portion of your treatment, if any, is being paid under a medical insurance plan. Include all documents that support the injuries you are claiming.
  • For lost wages: Attach proof of employment and salary, a statement from your employer for the time you were absent, and a doctor’s statement indicating you were unable to work due to the injury.

3.  Submit the completed Standard Form 95 and supporting documents to:

            Jessica Sanet, Assistant General Counsel
            Office of General Counsel
            Smithsonian Institution
            P.O. Box 37012, MRC 012
            Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

            [email protected]

If you are submitting protected personal information by email, please encrypt your email and/or password protect the documents you are sending, and email the password in a separate email.

For fastest receipt of your claim while a number of Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. and New York City continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, please email your claim to [email protected] instead of submitting it in hard copy via mail. 

4.  The Institution will investigate and make a determination on your claim. The decision will be forwarded to you by certified mail. This process may take several months. Please call the Office of General Counsel at (202) 633-5115 with any questions.