The Boy Scouts of America have agreed to settle a lawsuit with six former scouts who alleged that they were molested in the 1980s by their Portland area scout leader. The settlement is confidential, but to avoid trial, the Boy Scouts have agreed to pay an additional $2.25 million in punitive damages.
One of the plaintiffs participating in the settlement was Kerry Lewis, a 38-year-old who actually won a separate trial last April, when a jury awarded him $20 million in damages for the molestation he endured as a scout in the 1980s. In order to avoid the expected appeal by the Boy Scouts, and to get on with his life, Lewis participated in the settlement this week. What was stunning about Lewis’s trial was that the trial judge allowed into evidence files maintained by the Boy Scouts that documents complaints made about suspected molestation:
From the Oregonian:
Key to Lewis’ case were so-called red-flag files that the Boy Scouts of America have fought to keep out of the public eye, but that Judge John Wittmayer allowed to be used during trial. The files amounted to 20,000 pages of information collected by Boy Scout executives from 1965 to 1985 on 1,247 Scouting volunteers who were suspected of molesting boys or other unbefitting behavior.
From 1965 to 1985 there were 1,247 scout leaders suspected of molestation or unbefitting behavior? That is an incredible revelation that doesn’t get much coverage, and compares to what we’ve all learned about the Catholic Church in recent years.
In response to the settlement the Boy Scouts issued the following statement:
“Youth safety is the number one priority of the Boy Scouts of America, and we are deeply saddened by the events in these cases. We extend our sympathies to the victims and are pleased to have reached a settlement which will both prevent these men from reliving their experiences during a trial and allow BSA to focus even more intently on the continued enhancement of our youth protection program.”
The Walton Law Firm represent individuals and families who have been impacted by all types of incidents, including auto accidents, wrongful death claims, worksite injuries, elder abuse and neglect, sexual molestation, pedestrian injuries, construction accidents, property injuries, and malpractice matters. Call toll free at (866) 607-1325 or locally at (760) 571-5500 for a free and confidential consultation.