Boy Scouts Prepare Argument That Sex Abuse Isn’t Their Fault

p0018picThe Boy Scouts of America are preparing oral arguments to be presented to the Connecticut Supreme Court involving their appeal of a $12 million court verdict in 2014.  Their strategy is remarkably similar to those offered by the Catholic Church and other organizations that allowed the sexual abuse of minors.

In the Connecticut case, the Boy Scouts’ strategy is based upon their alleged ignorance of the abuser’s proclivities and his past behavior.  If that doesn’t work, they plan to argue that upholding the verdict may lead to similar judgments against them which would bankrupt the Boy Scouts.  Neither argument has worked in the past.  (Read more about the BSA’s finances and ability to pay claims.)

The Boy Scouts offered a preview of their argument to the Supreme Court when their attorney made the following statement: “The organization had no inkling that the perpetrator would abuse anyone, and there is no proof that the organization had an abuse problem any greater than society in general, and, indeed, it was actually ahead of the curve in creating the IVFs (Ineligible Volunteer Files) to keep abusers out of its programs.”  He went on to state, “The plaintiff has not explained how the BSA would have prevented [the troop leader] from abusing the plaintiff.  One possible response would be suffocating supervision … or without it, parental withdrawal of their children from Scouting programs. … Neither alternative would provide societal benefits that would come close to offsetting the resultant costs.”

The arguments set forth by the Boy Scouts don’t address the real problem.  The Boy Scouts ignored their own policies, covered up a known danger, and allowed predators to have access to vulnerable children and abuse them.  This case isn’t about whether the Boy Scouts can survive if more lawsuits are filed.  It’s about justice for innocent children and the Boy Scout’s taking responsibility for failing to protect them.


Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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