Our work on behalf of those abused in Scouting goes back to the mid-1990′s when Kelly Clark (deceased) filed the case of Lourim v Swenson and the BSA, eventually taking the case to the Oregon Supreme Court, winning there and expanding the grounds for liability for youth organizations whose volunteers abuse children, in a case that garnered national attention for its creative use of the legal theory of vicarious liability. Since the successful resolution of the Lourim case after the Supreme Court win in 1999, our firm has represented nearly 100 men (and a few women), in cases over a dozen states, who were abused in the context of Scouting. Along the way, we have won important victories, including securing settlements and restitution, as well as concessions from the BSA such as improved child abuse prevention policies and better protection of children in Scouting.
In 2010, we went to trial against the BSA on behalf of the first of six men who were abused in a Portland Scouting troop operated by the Mormon Church. After a six week jury trial that garnered international press coverage, with Kelly Clark as lead counsel along with Peter Janci working together on the case, together with our co-counsel Paul Mones, we won a verdict which, including punitive damages, totaled nearly $20 million. The centerpiece of that trial was the now famous “Perversion Files”, the secret BSA files on child sexual abuse, which were introduced into evidence and made public for the first time ever, a ruling which the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed in 2012. Since then our firm has publicly released these files for the public to see and to learn the lessons of the history of abuse in Scouting.
Since that trial, we are working hard in a dozen states for dozens of victims of abuse in Scouting—Kelly Clark (deceased), Steve Crew, and Peter Janci—frequently along with our colleague Paul Mones—to continue to seek justice for survivors of BSA abuse