Boy Scouts Ordered to Pay $18.5M in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

The New York Times reports that The Boy Scouts of America were ordered Friday to pay $18.5 million in a lawsuit that has focused new attention on the secret files the Scouts keep to document claims of sexual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers.  The verdict “was by far the largest ever against the Scouts in a jury trial.” Lawyers for the Scouts “have argued that the files should be kept confidential” and “dispute the claim that the files have caused harm.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that the verdict “will likely be the first of many financial hits the Scouts will take as it prepares to defend itself against a series of sex abuse lawsuits.” The case “was the first of six filed against the Boy Scouts in the same court in Oregon, with at least one other separate case pending.” Patrick Boyle, editor of the Youth Today newspaper, “said from 1984 through 1992, the Scouts were sued at least 60 times for alleged sex abuse with settlements and judgments totaling more than $16 million.”

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