Forefront in Washington State
We have been using the “perversion” files of the Boy Scouts for nearly a decade, although each trial court usually makes a slightly different decision as to how many of the files we can use. The trial courts have routinely allowed us to obtain and use the files because they are relevant to show that BSA failed to take reasonable steps to protect Scouts from being abused.
However, last year a trial court in Washington concluded that BSA had no obligation to use the information in the perversion files to better protect our client. We immediately appealed that order, and we are waiting to have oral argument before the Court of Appeals in Washington. We expect to have oral argument in the next few months, and hope to have a decision by the middle of next year. If you would like to see a copy of our brief, please contact us.
The decision will be very important for abuse survivors in Washington because the Court will be faced with the critical question of whether Boy Scouts had any duty to change their policies when they knew that their existing policies were not working. It will be interesting to see what BSA says to the Court of Appeals when their president just this week admitted (for the first time we’re aware of) that the Boy Scout files contain “the kind of information that should have been used to inform a program of protection for scouts because it indicated that scouts were at great risk.”