TAMPA — A Polk County motorcyclist has filed a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service (USPS) for the injuries he sustained as a result of an automobile accident in Lakeland.

Bruce Mandish filed the suit April 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Mandish is suing the USPS for negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) in connection with the May 9, 2016 wreck. Under the FTCA, “individuals injured or whose property is damaged by the wrongful or negligent act of a federal employee acting in the scope of his or her official duties may file a claim with the government for reimbursement for that injury or damage.” The statute substitutes the United States as the defendant and the government - not the individual employee - bears any resulting liability. 

Mandish was driving a 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle in the southbound left lane of US 98 and USPS employee Stacy R. Henry was driving a 1996 GRAM vehicle owned by the postal service. The lawsuit alleges that Henry “negligently and carelessly pulled out of a private driveway” and drove directly into Mandish’s path, “violating his right of way.” 

“Stacy Henry carelessly and negligently operated and/or maintained the 1996 GRAM vehicle so as to crash into the motorcycle driven by Plaintiff Mandish,” the complaint said. 

According to the suit, Mandish “sustained series and permanent bodily injuries” as a result of the accident. 

“Under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine, Defendant United States of America, the State of Florida would be responsible for the operation of its vehicle by Stacy R. Henry,” the suit said. 

Mandish is asking for $2 million for physical pain, suffering, mental anguish, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, inconvenience, medical treatment and loss of earnings. He is also asking or $8,944.82 for property damages to the motorcycle. 

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