Boys Scouts settles several abuse cases

LAWSUIT: The Boy Scouts of America building in Upper Tumon is shown. The Boy Scouts settled several of the sex abuse lawsuits filed on Guam. Post file photo

Legal counsel representing 13 plaintiffs who have accused Guam clergy of child sexual abuse has filed documents in the District Court of Guam amending the complaints to both double the amount sought in damages and to accuse a third party of culpability in the abuse.

Court documents filed Thursday and Friday by attorney David Lujan on behalf of 13 former Boy Scouts state each plaintiff is now seeking a minimum of $10 million for all general, special, exemplary and punitive damages.

The suits now also name as a defendant the Boy Scouts of America, in addition to the Archdiocese of Agana and former Guam priest Louis Brouillard.

Court documents state Leo Tudela was abused at two different archdiocesan properties by two different clergymen. Tudela also alleged he was abused during outings with the Boy Scouts troop for which Brouillard was a troop leader.

Bruce Diaz's suit states he was abused by Brouillard about four times a week over a four-year period when he was between the ages of 8 and 12 and an altar boy at the San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada, where Brouillard served at the time. The suit states Diaz was abused both on parish grounds and at Boy Scout outings.

The amended suits now contain language alleging the Boy Scouts of America and the Aloha and Chamorro Councils knew about the abusive practices of some of its troop leaders and employees and did nothing to stop it. Court documents also state that in some cases the Boy Scouts organization was even willing to re-admit leaders whose names had been included in the confidential "perversion files," which lists the names of current and former employees who have been accused of abuse.

The suits allege that because the Boy Scouts of America knew irreparable harm would befall them if a scandal broke out concerning their practice of employing those with repeated predatory practices, they "intentionally and actively concealed the continuous and systematic danger of sexual abuse of boys in their programs by Scout Leaders" to the point of actively, and falsely, promoting to the public that their scouting programs were safe and wholesome and their scout leaders safe and trustworthy.

Prior to the inclusion of the Boy Scouts in the suits, each plaintiff sought $5 million in damages.

Two more cases are expected to be amended next week.