United States payment of excess third-party liability claims.
(a) The United States pays successful covered claims (including reasonable expenses of litigation or settlement) of a third party against a licensee, a customer, and the contractors and subcontractors of the licensee and the customer, and the employees of each involved in licensed activities, and the contractors and subcontractors of the United States and its agencies, and their employees, involved in licensed activities to the extent provided in an appropriation law or other legislative authority providing for payment of claims in accordance with 51 U.S.C. 50915, and to the extent the total amount of such covered claims arising out of any particular launch or reentry:
(b) Payment by the United States under paragraph (a) of this section shall not be made for any part of such claims for which bodily injury or property damage results from willful misconduct by the party seeking payment.
(c) The United States shall provide for payment of claims by third parties for bodily injury or property damage that are payable under 49 U.S.C. 70113 and not covered by required insurance under § 440.9(b), without regard to the limitation under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, because of an insurance policy exclusion that is usual. A policy exclusion is considered usual only if insurance covering the excluded risk is not commercially available at reasonable rates. The licensee must submit a certification in accordance with § 440.15(c)(1)(iii) of this part for the United States to cover the claims.
(d) Upon the expiration of the policy period prescribed in accordance with § 440.11(a), the United States shall provide for payment of claims that are payable under 51 U.S.C. 50915 from the first dollar of loss up to $1,500,000,000 (as adjusted for inflation occurring after January 1, 1989).
(e) Payment by the United States of excess third-party claims under 51 U.S.C. 50915 shall be subject to:
(1) Prompt notice by the licensee to the FAA that the total amount of claims arising out of licensed activities exceeds, or is likely to exceed, the required amount of financial responsibility. For each claim, the notice must specify the nature, cause, and amount of the claim or lawsuit associated with the claim, and the party or parties who may otherwise be liable for payment of the claim;
(2) Participation or assistance in the defense of the claim or lawsuit by the United States, at its election;
(3) Approval by the FAA of any settlement, or part of a settlement, to be paid by the United States; and
(4) Approval by Congress of a compensation plan prepared by the FAA and submitted by the President.
(f) The FAA will:
(1) Prepare a compensation plan outlining the total amount of claims and meeting the requirements set forth in 51 U.S.C. 50915;
(2) Recommend sources of funds to pay the claims; and
(3) Propose legislation as required to implement the plan.
(g) The FAA may withhold payment of a claim if it finds that the amount is unreasonable, unless it is the final order of a court that has jurisdiction over the matter.
[Doc. No. FAA-2005-23449, 71 FR 75632, Dec. 15, 2006, as amended by Amdt. 440-3, 77 FR 20534, Apr. 5, 2012]