926 S.W.2d 287 (Tex. 1996)
This is a suit for damages filed on behalf of a minor who was sexually molested by his scoutmaster. The lawsuit was originally brought in 1996 by a Veronica Akins, the minor's mother, who sued the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Golden Spread Council of the Boy Scouts of America (GSC).
In 1987, C.C., a fifth grader, was molested four times by Melvin Estes, the father of a neighborhood friend. C.C. was not in the Boy Scouts at the time. A year later, C.C joined Boy Scout Troop 22 of which, unknown to C.C., Estes was the assistant scoutmaster.
Despite Estes's involvement, C.C. joined the troop. Estes did not molest C.C. while the two were associated with Troop 22. But during his time there, he became aware of several other people who had suffered molestation at the hands of Mr Estes.
A later complaint of Estes’ activities was made to GSC, which found them unfounded and failed to further investigate or report Estes to the authorities. Estes was later made scoutmaster of another troop, which he encouraged C.C to join and subsequently continued to molest C.C. He was later jailed in 1989, for child molestation.
Akins then sued the BSA and GSC for negligent failure to properly screen and supervise Estes, and for failing to fire him after the first accusation.
Although the case was summarily decided in favor of BSA and GSC, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision, holding, among other things, that both organizations owed a legal duty to C.C and the case should go forward to trial.
The Texas Supreme Court affirmed that the GSC owed a duty to C.C, but did not account same duty to the BSA
This case is one of the early decisions in which the court began to input liability on the BSA or its councils based on its negligent principles and protocols. The decision, long with some others promptly led to the BSA revisiting its anti-harassment protocols so as to lessen such occurrences.
These sexual abuses continue till today regardless and the BS A continues to face numerous lawsuits even from claimants who suffered abuse in subsequent years. The January 2020 filing of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy by the BSA has halted the adjudication of these cases in court pending the determination of its bankruptcy petition.
If the petition is granted, claimants may still recover compensation for the abuse suffered. Otherwise, the cases currently pending in litigation will presumably be resumed.
We urge victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse to act quickly, come forward and consult our Boy Scout lawsuit attorneys.
Our Boy Scout Sexual abuse attorneys at Oshan & Associates are ready to fight and see that justice is done in your case. Contact us immediately via our page or at (206) 335-3880 or (621)-421-4062 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
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