Republican Senate Bill will help BSA & other non profit groups
Ed Henderson (BigEdBSA@AOL.COM)
Tue, 8 Apr 1997 04:01:42 -0400
Finally the U.S. Senate is taking action to protect volunteer non profit
organizations like the BSA. Unless we want to see our registration costs,
rechartering fees, and event charges continue to increase we need this bill.
Here is a recent Associated Press Story.....
By CURT ANDERSON
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (April 7) - Republicans are pushing for protection from huge
jury verdicts for people who volunteer their time for pursuits ranging from
coaching Little League to working with the Salvation Army.
Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo., introduced legislation Monday that would make
it tougher for a plaintiff to win damages in federal court against a
volunteer or service organization and would limit jury awards to $250,000.
''If our legal system makes it dangerous to help each other, and
dangerous to care, and dangerous to volunteer, we will have done this country
a great disservice,'' said Ashcroft, a member of the Senate Judiciary
Committee and a former Missouri attorney general.
Supporters say the need for such legislation is borne out by anecdotes
such as a 1982 case in which a ''born shortstop'' sued a Little League coach
in New Jersey when he was struck by a ball after being ordered to play the
The bill is intended to encourage people to volunteer for nonprofit
civic, charitable and other organizations and to bring down the high cost of
The leading opponent of many reforms, the Association of Trial Lawyers of
America, discounts claims that volunteerism is decreasing and says the civil
justice system is not to blame for high insurance bills.
''If volunteer organizations in this country have high insurance
premiums, it's because insurers are gouging them,'' said Howard F. Twiggs,
president of the trial lawyers group. ''Volunteers, just like all Americans,
need to be responsible for their acts.''
The bill would adopt the high ''clear and convincing'' evidence standard
for a jury to consider and plaintiffs would have to show ''conscious,
flagrant indifference'' to rights or safety of others.
Health care providers, including blood banks, would be excluded from the
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City