A Portland, Oregon jury ordered the Boy Scouts of America to make a payment of $18.5 million in punitive damages to Kerry Lewis, the victim of sex abuse by a former assistant Scoutmaster in the 1980s.
This case is the first of six filed against the Boy Scouts in the same court in Oregon and is probably the beginning of many financial hits the organization will take as it defends itself against a series of lawsuits associated with sex scandals.
The jury decided that the Boy Scouts were negligent for allowing the former assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes to associate with Scouts after he has admitted to the organization in 1983 that he has molested 17 boys.
The jury had already awarded Lewis $1.4 million in compensatory damages before deciding the punitive damages. In determining the award, the jury was allowed to consider the wealth of the nearly $1 billion corporation.
This particular award is the largest against the Boy Scouts for sex abuse. The Boy Scouts have said they plan to appeal Friday's decision.