April 23, 2010 in City

Jury begins deliberating in Scouts abuse trial

Associated Press

PORTLAND – A Portland jury has been excused for the day after beginning deliberations on whether to award $25 million in punitive damages against the Boy Scouts of America in a sex abuse lawsuit.

The jury awarded an Oregon man $1.4 million in compensatory damages last week after deciding the Scouts were negligent for failing to prevent his abuse by an assistant scoutmaster in the early 1980s.

The decision on punitive damages is the final phase of the trial that began last month.

A lawyer for the Boy Scouts told the jury in closing arguments Thursday the organization has worked hard since the 1980s to prevent abuse.

But an attorney for the victim said the effort was too little and too late because the Scouts knew they had a problem since the 1920s.

Deliberations were set to resume today.

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