Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation v. Meyer

510 U.S. 471 (1994)


Fidelity Savings and Loan Association (Fidelity), was seized by California and the FSLIC was to serve as Fidelity's receiver under state law. The FSLIC was also appointed to serve as Fidelity's receiver under federal law. FSLIC had broad authority to 'take such action as may be necessary to put [the thrift] in a sound solvent condition.' FSLIC, through its special representative Pattullo, terminated P, a senior Fidelity officer. P filed this lawsuit against the FSLIC and Pattullo. P's sole claim against D was that his summary discharge deprived him of a property right (his right to continued employment under California law) without due process of law in violation of the Fifth Amendment. P relied upon Bivens which implied a cause of action for damages against federal agents who allegedly violated the Fourth Amendment. The jury returned a $130,000 verdict against D but found in favor of Pattullo on qualified immunity grounds. D, FSLIC's statutory successor, appealed. The Court of Appeals decided that Meyer's claim was not cognizable under § 1346(b). It then concluded that the 'sue-and-be-sued' clause contained in D's organic statute constituted a waiver of sovereign immunity for P's claim and entitled him to maintain an action. The court affirmed the jury's conclusion that D had been deprived of due process when he was summarily discharged without notice and a hearing. D appealed.