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Although the details remain undisclosed, a final settlement has been reached in six of the cases pending against the Boy Scouts of America over the molestation of the plaintiffs when they were Scouts. The settlement brings closure to the cases from Oregon lead by the trial for plaintiff Kerry Lewis. Mr. Lewis and the other plaintiffs were members of the same scout troop in Oregon in the 1980s.
Kerry Lewis told reporters he was "glad this is over," reported the New York Times. Lewis's trial had resulted in jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him $19.9 million in damages last April. During the trial, a former assistant troop leader, Timur Dykes, admitted to molesting the then 12 year-old Lewis. Other evidence reported at the time of the trial concerned the so-called "perversion files" kept by the organization as a record of potential abusers.
After the trial, according to the Times, the judge requested the parties negotiate a settlement that would include all six plaintiffs. At that time, the Scouts had intended to appeal the Lewis verdict and had not yet made a payment, said Paul Mones, one of Kerry Lewis's attorneys. A payment to Lewis is part of the current settlement agreement. The Boy Scouts of America will also pay the state of Oregon $2.25 million in punitive damages.
Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Scouts, said the organization was "deeply saddened by the events in these cases" and offered the Scouts' sympathies to the victims. Smith says the Boy Scouts have taken steps to improve a youth protection program and to provide a safer environment for its scouts.
Lawyers for Kerry Lewis, Kelly Clark and Paul Mones, are currently representing more than a dozen other former scouts in abuse cases around the country.
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