Jury to Consider Punitive Damages in Dumas Law Group Boy Scout Sex Abuse Trial

Clyde BrockThe judge in one of our Boy Scout sex abuse cases granted our motion to add a claim for $65 million in punitive damages against the Boy Scouts of America. (It’s case number 14CV05531 in Multnomah County, Oregon.)

We filed the lawsuit here in Portland against the Boy Scouts for our client who was sexually abused as a child by his Scoutmaster Clyde Brock. Clyde Brock, as you can see from the Boy Scouts’ “Perversion File” on him, was a notorious Boy Scout sex abuser in Oregon.

How the Boy Scouts handled multiple accusations against Brock demonstrates a complete lack of regard for the welfare and safety of children. In spite of accusations that Brock had molested 12 boys in Troop 220 in Oregon City, the Boy Scouts allowed him to retire for “health reasons.” The Scout Executive of the Cascade Pacific Council even suggested that Brock be honored at the troop’s 50th anniversary dinner in order to quiet rumors about why he retired.

In allowing our claim for punitive damages, the Court recognizes that the facts of this case merit consideration of punitive damages by the jury. Punitive damages may be added to a lawsuit when the defendant (Boy Scouts of America) acts with conscious indifference to the health, safety and welfare of the plaintiff. The purpose of punitive damages is to deter similar conduct by making an example of the defendant, and to punish the defendant for its actions.

This ruling allows the plaintiff to seek punitive damages for his claims for fraud, negligence, and vicarious liability against the Boy Scouts. Plaintiff is asking for $65 million in punitive damages, based on BSA’s cover up of a known danger of adult Scout volunteers sexually abusing Scouts. Plaintiff’s theory is that, just like cigarette companies created a false impression of the safety of cigarettes through advertising, television, and other media, the Boy Scouts created the false impression that Scouting was a safe and wholesome activity for boys through publications like Boys Life magazine and The Scout Handbook, and that Scoutmasters were trustworthy, model citizens. At the same time, BSA failed to tell Scouts and their parents that BSA knew that pedophiles targeted the organization to abuse and molest boys.

The jury will determine the amount of punitive damages that should be awarded, if any, to punish the Boy Scouts. Under Oregon law, 70% of any punitive damages awarded goes to the state’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Account and for court security.

The case is scheduled to go to trial January 11, 2016 in Multnomah County.

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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