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GOVERNMENT LIABILITY FOR NEGLIGENCE?

Two days of House Judiciary Committee hearings on whether the United States government should be liable for its own negligence end tomorrow. The government can escape liability for damaging the environment or threatening the health of workers under the ``discretionary function exception,'' a modern version of sovereign immunity. A survey last April found that two-thirds of Americans believe that government immunity should be limited or changed. More than 90 percent believe the federal government should follow the same health and safety regulations as private industry.