scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Insurance and Liability Experiences
John M. Ballenger (ballengerj@COMPUSERVE.COM
Thu Jun 01 2000 - 16:47:47 CDT
>> So how about it - Has anyone out there ever actually had
personal experience processing BSA insurance claims?<<
Nope. It is my belief that the BSA is "self insured" and that
they don't have an insurance policy per se. I believe the BSA
will step in and defend if a lawsuit is filed against a Troop
or a Camp, and that they will pay the judgment if one is entered
[or will settle the case out of court]. If the BSA decides to
defend the case, they will pay the lawyers and the judgment out
of BSA funds. I don't know if the BSA has ever refused to
defend a case, or what standards are used to determine whether
to defend a case.
In the insurance industry, negligence is typically covered, but
so-called "intentional torts" are often not covered.
>>Similar to the above insurance issue, I've never heard of
anyone sued because due to a Scouting related incident.<<
A few years back, a Scout dad was at Goshen Scout
Camps [operated by the National Capitol Area Council] with
his son. The Scout dads were all being given swim tests.
They all walked out on the pier, and were told to enter
the water. Everyone else jumped in feet first, but this
Scout dad dived in head first. The water was quite shallow,
the dad hit his head on the bottom and was paralyzed.
The injuries were very serious. The Scout dad's career and
life were pretty much over. He filed suit for negligence.
The BSA initially defended the case on the basis that the
Scout dad should have known not to dive into the water head
first, and that he was guilty of contributory negligence or
had assumed the risk in doing so. The BSA eventually settled
the case by paying the Scout dad approximately $2 Million
[to the best of my recollection]. My belief that the BSA is
self-insured is based on news articles I read about this case.
The newspaper articles made a big deal about how many Scout
dues it takes to pay a $2 Million settlement.
I was not personally involved in the case.
>>So how probable are these problems, really?<<
The above case is the only major case I am aware of.
>>...could you also supply how many years you've been
in the business and in what ? <<
Lawyer for 25 years. Scout dad for 10+ years.
--John M. Ballenger