Fars News Agency has reported the 3rd US Circuit Courts of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled travelers can sue Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents for abusive searches, the company said.
The court ruled that TSA screeners act as investigative or law enforcement officers when searching passengers, meaning meaning they can be subject to civil claims for intentional wrongdoing under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
In a 9-4 decision, the court ruled the intimate physical nature of the screenings classifies TSA as a law enforcement act. The decision reverses a 2018 ruling by a three-judge panel from the same court that effectively gave TSA officers immunity under the law.
After a 2015 Department of Homeland Security study revealed that the TSA failed to detect weapons and firearms a shocking 95 percent of the time, the agency adopted a much more invasive procedure, warning local law enforcement in 2017 that they might receive phone calls complaining about the comprehensive searches before people got used to them.