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So, what are the LC's and COs being sued for?


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I wanted to post this here because while it is RELATED to the bankruptcy thread, it needs to be parsed out.

The chief complaint against the suits and claims is that a) the abusers are getting off free and b) BSA, the LCs, and COs reported what they could to the police.

But, a) isn't relevant and b) is only part of the story.

As for a), yes in those instances where the abuser is still alive, they are in fact part of these lawsuits. This Minnesota case, for example, names BSA, the LC, and the abuser as defendants.

As for b), while all these lawsuits have different aspects and dimensions, most I've seen boil down to the following:

1) Boy Scouts of America (the chartered entity) created the Boy Scouts (or Cub Scouts, or whatever) program and chartered local councils to carry that program out.

2) Boy Scouts of America directly chartered each year the units in question.

3) Boy Scouts of America knew from early, early on it had a pedophile problem and created the Ineligible Volunteer Files.

4) Boy Scouts of America, the Local Council, and the CO still acted recklessly or negligently in allowing the abuser to access to the scout.

Therefore

  1. Negligence/Duty of reasonable care - BSA had an obligation to look after these kids and not let them be harmed.
  2. Negligence in Supervision - the abusive leader was an "agent of [Boy Scouts] was under [Boy Scouts] direct supervision, and control" using BSA methods, uniforms, instruction, etc.
  3. Negligence in Retention - the abusive leader was not shoved out the door fast enough
  4. Negligence in Hiring - (yes a volunteer is "hired" for these purposes) Boy Scouts failed to do enough of a background check to detect the abuser's tendencies and nevertheless held the abusive leader out as a "competent and trustworthy scout leader, supervisor, servant, teacher, and counselor."

Now, before people start screaming "That's not fair! That's not right!" keep in mind that these are the underlying arguments that have already been successfully used against BSA and LCs in the past.

And there are over 850 (at least) cases already filed against LCs.

So, complain all you want about it not being "fair" or "right", but this is the current legal landscape.

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If the end result is innocent scouts and scouters forced to pay into a victim fund to keep the program running for their scouts, my first reaction is not to complain. We'll move to another organization or quit scouting. Fixing one wrong with another wrong might be legal, but there is a point where scouts will not see the value in the program and cut their losses. 

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1 hour ago, Owls_are_cool said:

We'll move to another organization or quit scouting.

Pack your bags. In fact, if you are serious, you would have left years ago.

1) Councils and National have already had to pay to settle dozens of lawsuits since 1997 over sexual abuse.

2) There are at least 850+ active pending lawsuits against BSA, local councils, and COs. They are paused/stayed due to the BSA bankruptcy, but they will proceed eventually and they will result in millions if not billions in judgments against BSA, LCs, and COs.

3) There is absolutely no scenario here in which all these abuse claims and lawsuits suddenly go away. None. We are well past the point of asking "Will BSA have to pay? Will LCs? Will COs?" the only questions left now are how much and when.

So as I said, if you truly, truly believe paying a penny for the sexual abuse victims means "we'll move to another organization or quit scouting", then there's the (metaphorical) door. Those payments have already been made and it is 100% certain more payments will be occurring.

Leave.

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Ok, so a follow up.

The latest is from New Jersey. I am NOT going to link to the complaint because the plaintiff/abuse victim is named (he is suing under his real name, not "John Doe") and I am not about to name him.

That said, the NJ case is precisely the kind of lawsuit BSA, LCs, and COs are facing and why they are facing it.

The "Defendants" are BSA National and two local councils in New Jersey where this unit operated/this scout was abused.

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At  all  relevant  times  the  defendants,  through  their agents,  servants,  and  employees, managed, maintained, operated, and controlled the Boy Scout Troop that Plaintiff belonged  to  when  he  was  sexually  abused  by  the  defendants’  Scout  leader  and  volunteer,  NAME REDACTED BY ME.

So, right off the bat. Why is BSA and the LC being sued? Because they were operating the BSA program through the Troop.
 

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31. At all relevant times the defendants were responsible for the hiring and staffing, and did the hiring and staffing, for the Scout leaders and volunteers of the Boy Scout Troop that Plaintiff belonged to when he was sexually abused by their Scout leader and volunteer, ABUSER NAME.

BSA and the LC did not properly review this abuser when he was "hired" (and for legal purposes signing on as a volunteer is "hiring).

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32. At  all  relevant  times  the  defendants  were  responsible  for  the  recruitment  and  staffing of the Scout leaders and volunteers for the Boy Scout Troop that Plaintiff belonged to when he was sexually abused by their Scout leader and volunteer, ABUSER NAME.

BSA and the LC did not properly review this abuser when he was "recruited" .

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33. At all relevant times the defendants were responsible for supervising the Scout leaders and volunteers for the Boy Scout Troop that Plaintiff belonged to when he was sexually abused by their Scout leader and volunteer, ABUSER NAME.

BSA and the LC did not properly supervise this abuser when he was serving as a leader/volunteer abusing scouts.

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34. At  all  relevant  times  the  defendants held  themselves  out  to  the  public  as  the  owners of the Boy Scout Troop that Plaintiff belonged to when he was sexually abused by their Scout leader and volunteer, ABUSER NAME.

BSA and the LC are on the hook because they own this mess (they chartered the Troop).

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36.At  all  relevant  times  the  defendants,  through  their  agents,  servants,  and  employees, managed, maintained, operated, and controlled the Boy Scout Troop that Plaintiff belonged  to  when  he  was  sexually  abused  by  the  defendants’  Scout  leader  and  volunteer,  ABUSER NAME, including its leaders and volunteers.

And BSA and the LCs are on the hook because they own this mess, part 2 (they chartered the Troop).

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FIRST COUNT (Violation of New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:61B-1)
4. The defendants’ actions constitute malice, vindictiveness, wanton and reckless disregard, and indifference to Plaintiff’s rights and safety.
5. At all relevant times ABUSER NAME was an employee or agent of the defendants acting within  the  scope  of  his  employment  or  agency.    As  such,  in  addition  to  being  directly  liable  under  this  cause  of  action,  the  defendants  are  vicariously  liable  for  the  torts  committed  by  ABUSER NAME under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

BSA and the LCs were in charge of the program and recklessly disregarded scout safety.

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SECOND COUNT (Negligence)
In  breaching  their  duties,  including  hiring,  retaining,  and  failing  to  supervise ABUSER NAME; giving him access to children; entrusting their tasks, premises, and instrumentalities to him; failing to train their personnel in the signs of sexual predation and to protect children from sexual abuse and other harm; failing to warn Plaintiff, his parents, and other parents of danger  of  sexual  abuse;  and  failing  to  create  a  safe  and  secure  environment  for  Plaintiff and other  children  who  were  under  their  supervision  and  in  their  care,  custody,  and  control,  the  defendants created a foreseeable risk that Plaintiff would be sexually abused by ABUSER NAME.

Everything I said above in the first post: BSA and the LCs were negligent in how they hired, trained, retained, and supervised the abuser, plus other things.

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THIRD COUNT (Intentional and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress)

and

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FOURTH COUNT (Punitive Damages)

So, there you have it. An understanding of what is going on here.

This has NOTHING to do with not reporting to police. It is about BSA National, LCs, and COs (although the CO isn't named here, it may be because the scout doesn't know who that was, there are "John Doe" defendants")

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On 4/22/2021 at 4:13 PM, Owls_are_cool said:

If the end result is innocent scouts and scouters forced to pay into a victim fund to keep the program running for their scouts, my first reaction is not to complain. We'll move to another organization or quit scouting. Fixing one wrong with another wrong might be legal, but there is a point where scouts will not see the value in the program and cut their losses. 

I don't blame you at all but when you do move, you will be accomplishing exactly what the individuals and organizations who've been trying to destroy Scouting for decades want.  Make no mistake -- some parties in these lawsuits are in it for justice, some are in it for revenge, some are in it for the money, and some are in it simply to destroy a pillar of traditional American culture and society.  That last segment has been trying to destroy churches, Scouting, the military, law enforcement, etc. for decades and use any convenient avenue they can find.  This doesn't diminish the very real hurt suffered in some of these cases but the general public really needs to keep the broader perspective of what's good for our society in the long run.

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