Conn. Supreme Court Tosses Record $12M Boy Scout Sex Abuse Verdict

On October 3, 2016, the highest Appeals Court in Connecticut ordered a retrial of a former boy scouts claim that he had been sexually molested multiple times at the age of 11 by his patrol leader long ago in the mid -1970's. (In 2000 this same scout leader had pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual touching of a minor.) A statute of limitations defense was successfully overcome after the suit was filed in 2012. The case went to trial in 2014. The jury found in favor of the victim and awarded $7,000,000 for compensatory damages against the Boy Scouts of America ("BSA"). Obviously, an award against the boy scout leader would not be recoverable. The Trial Court added another $5,000,000 in interest, legal fees and costs for a total judgment of $12,000,000 against the BSA. This was the largest verdict ever against the BSA.

The Connecticut Supreme Court vacated the verdict and ordered a retrial because they found that the Trial Court had not given the proper legal instructions to the jury before they began their deliberations. The Boy Scouts of America successfully argued on appeal that the jury should have been instructed that in order to hold them liable for the scout leaders sexual misconduct, that it must be shown that BSA had increased the odds that abuse would take place. Stated another way, on the retrial the jury will be told that they can only hold the BSA liable if they knew or should have known that the scout leader posed a threat to the boy. 

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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