Higher damages to be sought in Scout suit

March 31, 2010 at 2:47 PM

PORTLAND, Ore., March 31 (UPI) -- An Oregon judge agreed to allow the plaintiffs in a sexual-abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America to increase the amount of money they are asking for.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge John Wittmayer agreed to a plaintiff's request that they be allowed to ask the jury for $29 million in damages at the end of the trial that was under way Wednesday in Portland.

The lawsuit had originally sought $14 million for a plaintiff who alleged he was molested by a scout leader in 1983. At least $4 million would go to the victim, while 60 percent of the punitive damages are paid to the state.

The allegations say the Boy Scouts failed to protect the plaintiff and other scouts from adult pedophiles joining the organization.

The (Portland) Oregonian said the 37-year-old plaintiff, whose name was not published, claims to have had trouble with relationships, substance abuse and difficulty holding a job since the incident. A lawyer for the scouts has countered that the plaintiff's woes were linked to an abusive home life.

The newspaper said the trial would likely run into next week.

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