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You do not need a lawyer to be a good scout leader or to take scouts on activities, if you feel you do then you have probably chose a poor way to volunteer your time.


This is not a question of law, this is a question on training and its benefits. If you take the available training and follow the information readily available through the BSA then the matter of law never comes into play.


Its a matter of common sense if anything. Understand the program and the rules that relate to your job, and to the activity you are leading, and injuries will minor and be few and far between. If you do your job correctly and by some great misfotune a scout should have a fatal injury you will be protected by the BSA.


I know of only one first hand incident with a unit in our didtrict where a scout fell to his death on a hike. The leaders did nothng wrong and the BSA defended the leader at trial, he was found not to be liable for the death and the BSA paid all his legal expenses.


If this is topic that worries you then pay good attention at training and follow the program rules.

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I my self am trained and encourage all to attend and take training to heart.


however in this case lets keep the line were it belongs. as moraly correct as this all sounds, and as much as I agree with you. It is Opinion. training although it may be good and needed in cases is not a requirement or standard for any type of insurance or liability protection.


and again maybe I'm wrong? but thats what all of this seems to point to.


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Yah, Ed, BW gave two examples, eh? A cub scout hit by a car, and a scout who fell to his death on a hike.


In both cases, the claim being made by the plaintiff would be that the adult leaders were negligent in their supervision of the youth, and as a foreseeable result of that negligence the boy was hurt.


In defending such a claim, a defendant can offer evidence that they weren't negligent (they proceeded with "due diligence"), or that their negligence didn't cause the injury, or that such an injury wasn't foreseeable, or any combination of the above and a few more to boot.


In each of the cases, the defense offered evidence that the event was well-planned and supervised, and prevailed. The plaintiff failed to meet their burden of proof that the defendants were negligent. The judgment was against the plaintiff.


Neither case relates to insurance, which was the original topic of da thread. The insurance was in force regardless. It provided the defense, and it would have paid in the event of a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.




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The original question asked about the "troop" and insurance coverage.


In almost all cases, a troop is not an entity - a person at law. Thus, it cannot typically be sued or held liable for any wrongdoing.


The CO is typically an entity and Scout leaders are persons. As such they may be sued and held liable.


Why is "insurance" helpful? For two features. 1. Payment of costs of defense (attorney fees, court costs, and other costs of defense). 2. Payment of any judgment against the defendant ("indemnity"). (The first is important even if the defendant is not legally at fault - "wins" the case. This is so because in the U.S. we usually do not allow a winning defendant to recover costs of defense from the losing plaintiff. As noted, anyone can be sued for anything. Satan has been sued in Federal Court, although the case was dismissed for failure of service of process on Satan.)


The general liability insurance provided by the BSA, according to my council, covers the CO as primary insurance and Scouters as secondary to any insurance they have (kicks in when you exhaust your personal coverage) regardless of whether you followed Scouting rules or not UNLESS you acted intentionally or criminally.


I see nothing contrary at Scouting.org


"Due diligence" can be used instead of "ordinary care," although that is not the typical use of the term. Intentional or criminal misconduct goes beyond acting without "due diligence" or acting without "ordinary care' (AKA "negligence"). In no sense is the exclusion for intentional or criminal misconduct related to any issue of "due diligence." My Council rep cannot find "due diligence" in the policy.


In many states, such as Ohio, this exclusion is a moot point because insurance (a contract to defend and indemnify) to protect against intentional acts is an illegal and uninforceable contract.


But note that negligent vehicular homicide is a felony in many states.


All that being the case, good training should reduce the risk of injuries and, therefore, the BSA should offer good training and Scouters should eagerly take such training.


So I am left to muse on:


Axes (can remove body parts)


1/3 of 60 minutes at weekend or two-day IOLS course (30 minutes at my council's exec's "eliminate the fluff" nine hour course)


1 page of technique in the BSHB


Nothing in the current Field Book


Currently, no regular intermediate or advanced training in use of axes.


We could do better, and locally are proposing to do so.

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"if you have followed the available training and regulations of the BSA as related to the activity."

While this might seem to make very good sense!!

I just can't say that I have ever read or seen it in any BSA publication or material.


For a very long time I was paying through the nose for Liquor Liability Insurance.

My premium did go down when I sent my servers to training's, but:

1/ The insurance would still have been in place if I hadn't sent them (Of course I wouldn't have got the discount!!)

2/ By sending the employees I had, the insurance company covered new employees who had not attended the Liquor Safe Serving Training.

3/ When I first bought my first restaurant,I did protect myself, by incorporating the business and the company that owned the buildings.

After years of paying the insurance company, some local tavern owners came up with the bright idea that we could all put X amount of money in an account and become self-insured. Nothing came of it, so the company that owned the Liquor License borrowed the money from the company that owned the buildings to become self-insured.

I did keep sending my people to be trained, mainly because I thought it was a good idea and also I didn't want some drunk getting his hands on my hard earned money!!

Again I didn't have to send them, they had no real "Need" to attend, the choice was mine.



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