Boy Scouts lose with huge punitive damages awarded
An Oregon man was awarded an $18.5 million jury verdict against the Boy Scouts of America organization. The ruling cited reckless and outrageous conduct in allowing an assistant scoutmaster to participate after admitting to a scout official that he had previously molested 17 other boys.
Evidently the compensatory damages that were awarded amounted to $1.4 million and the punitive damages were $17.1 million. This verdict was only against the national Boy Scouts organization and does not include potential damages against local councils and other individual defendants.
This verdict should serve as a wake-up call to youth sports and recreation organizations to shore up their risk management plans. It also illustrates the need to carry high limits of General Liability coverage, including coverage for sex abuse and molestation and punitive damages.
Current Sadler Sports & Recreation clients can take advantage of our free risk management videos on abuse/molestation awareness and prevention training, as well as our abuse/molestation risk management plan template.
Source: Associated Press Release