Paying a big legal settlement is sometimes a better alternative than going to trial – especially when trial means the release of lots of potentially damning details.
That appears to be what the Boy Scouts of America was thinking when it settled a lawsuit filed by a man who was abused by a Scout volunteer eight years ago, when he was 13-years-old.
The settlement came three days into trial in Santa Barbara– and it ensures that thousands of pages of so-called “perversion” files from the Boy Scouts won’t be made public, at least for the time being.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed at the request of the Boy Scouts. The attorney for the victim called it a “great result.”
The Santa Barbara case involved a man molested by Scout volunteer Al Stein in 2007. The plaintiff won the right to use the “perversion files” to try to prove that the Boy Scouts were negligent.The files include claims of misconduct made against Scout officials – and information about how the Scouts responded to those allegations. Files that the Scouts kept between 1960 and 1990 have already been made public in other lawsuits. But files covering 1991 to 2007 have yet to be released.
Attorneys for the plaintiff had told jurors they would be given a CD with 100,000 pages of internal Boy Scout documents from that latter period.