Compensatory damages are the only remedy recoverable under the FTCA. Fitch v. U.S., 513 F.2d 1013 (6th Cir. 1975). The FTCA does not allow courts to issue injunctions against the federal government. Moon v. Takisaki, 501 F.2d 389 (9 th Cir. 1974). Punitive damages are expressly forbidden, even if they are allowed under state law. 28 U.S.C. § 2674.
Sovereign immunity bars an award of attorney fees against the federal government unless expressly authorized by statute. Since the FTCA does not expressly authorize attorney fees, they are not recoverable against the federal government under the FTCA. Joe v. U.S., 772 F.2d 1535 (11 th Cir. 1985). Because no separate award of attorney fees may be awarded against the federal government, counsel will take payment from the awarded compensatory damages. However, the FTCA limits the amount which may be claimed by counsel from the compensatory damages award. No attorney may receive more than 25% of any compensatory damages or settlement. 28 U.S.C. § 2678.
The FTCA itself does not place a cap on the amount of damages recoverable against the federal government. However, the government’s liability is limited in the same way that a private party would be limited under the relevant state law. Therefore, the United States is able to take advantage of any state damage caps on awards for medical malpractice. Carter v. U.S., 982 F.2d 1141 (7th Cir. 1992).