Howd & Ludorf, LLC Wins Appeal in Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Case
Howd & Ludorf, LLC Partner Philip Newbury and Associate Ondi Dybowski have successfully defended the Boy Scouts of America at the Connecticut Appellate Court. In a decision released on January 21, 2014, the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the granting of summary judgment in favor of the Boy Scouts of America and the Connecticut Rivers Council. See Roe No. 1 v. Boy Scouts of America Corp., et al., ___ Conn.App. ___ (2014). In Roe, the plaintiff sued the Boy Scouts and the Council alleging that they were legally responsible for the abuse perpetrated on him by his Scoutmaster (who was also his stepfather) over a period of several years. The defendants successfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that they had no notice of the alleged abuse until the perpetrator was arrested in 2007; therefore, they owed no duty of care to the plaintiff. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the Boy Scouts were generally aware that scouts were abused by scout leaders, and had adopted the youth protection program to combat the problem; and by doing so, they voluntarily undertook a duty to protect youth (including the plaintiff) from abuse. In response, Attorney Newbury asserted that it was not foreseeable that the plaintiff would be abused, and that there was no special relationship between the plaintiff and the defendants that would impose a duty on the defendants to protect him. The Appellate Court agreed and affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the Boy Scouts. Attorney Newbury was assisted on the brief by Attorney Dybowski.