tort claims act
n. a federal or state act which, under certain conditions, waives governmental immunity and allows lawsuits by people who claim they have been harmed by torts (wrongful acts), including negligence, by government agencies or their employees. These acts also establish the procedure by which such claims are made. Before the enactment of tort claims acts, government bodies could not be sued without the specific permission of the government. The federal version is the Federal Tort Claims Act.