Home Page Settlements John Doe v. Fairfield County Council of Boy Scouts of America, Inc.; Connecticut Yankee Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America; The Boy Scouts of America Corporation
Civil/Human Rights - Verdict in favor of Plaintiff
In the late 1970s, a Boy Scout member named Siegfried Hepp became a youth patrol leader in Fairfield County Council Boy Scout Troop 137, which held regular meetings in New Fairfield, CT. At that time, John Doe, 11-years-old and three years younger than Hepp, was also a member of Troop 137. Doe claimed Hepp sexually assaulted him three times during Boy Scout activities, including during an overnight camping trip, a fishing trip and a nature walk in the woods. As a result, Doe claimed he suffered physical injury and severe and ongoing emotional injury, including drug and alcohol addiction, extreme disruptions in his interactions and relationships with other people and his functioning in the world as an adult. \n\nOn May 22, 2012, Doe filed a complaint in the Connecticut Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk. The following March, the action was transferred to the Connecticut Superior Court, Complex Litigation Docket, Judicial District of Waterbury. Through the complaint, Doe asserted claims of negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress against all three entities. In addition, he asserted claims of recklessness and violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA") against defendants The Boy Scouts of America Corporation.\n\nPrior to trial, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, in which they maintained that they that they had no notice of any alleged sexual abuse by Hepp and that they owed no duty of care under the circumstances of the case. Defendants pointed out, moreover, that Hepp was himself a minor at the time of the alleged abuse and only a few years older than Doe. The Court denied defendants' motions for summary judgment. \n\nThe matter proceeded to a jury trial in December 2014, and Judge Salvatore Agati presided. During the trial, plaintiff' counsel introduced evidence and testimony demonstrating that Boy Scouts of America had prior knowledge of extensive sexual abuse in scouting, including youth on youth sexual abuse. Plaintiff did not claim any past or future medical expenses or lost earnings. \n\nOn Dec. 12, 2014, the jury reached a verdict in Doe\'s favor. Although the jury assessed no liability against the Fairfield County Council of Boy Scouts of America, Inc. and the Connecticut Yankee Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America, the jury found The Boy Scouts of America to be liable to Doe. The total compensatory damage award was $7,000,010.00, including $4,000,000.00 for negligence, $3,000,000.00 for negligent infliction of emotional distress and $10.00 for pecuniary losses pursuant to the CUTPA claim. \n\nIn addition, the jury found that The Boy Scouts of America had been reckless, which will result in the imposition of punitive damages by the trial court after a hearing at a later time.
Injury, Damage, or Loss:
Paul A. Slager and Jennifer B. Goldstein\nSilver Golub & Teitell LLP\n184 Atlantic St.\nStamford, CT 06901\nPhone: (203) 325-4491\nFax: (203) 325-3769\firstname.lastname@example.org\nRepresenting: John Doe
Philip T. Newbury and Jonathan M. Bechtel\nHowd & Ludorf, LLC\n65 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114\nPhone: (860) 249-1361\nFax: (860) 249-7665\nRepresenting: Fairfield County Council of Boy Scouts of America, Inc.; Connecticut Yankee Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America; The Boy Scouts of America Corporation
Superior Court Judge Salvatore Agati, Connecticut Superior Court, Complex Litigation Docket, Judicial District of Waterbury, Waterbury, CT
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Published on Apr-29-16
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