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Doe v. Boy Scouts of America

United States District Court, D. Idaho

December 5, 2017

JOHN DOE I-XIX and JOHN ELLIOTT, Plaintiffs,
v.
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, a congressionally chartered corporation authorized to do business in Idaho; CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, a foreign corporation sole registered to do business in Idaho; and CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND SUCCESSORS, a foreign corporation registered to business in Idaho, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill Chief Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is BSA's Motion to Reconsider (Dkt. 229). On September 1, 2017, this Court entered an order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel certain discovery from BSA. On September 18, 2017, BSA filed this motion on the grounds that the Court clearly erred and imposed manifest injustice on the BSA by requiring production of documents relevant to Plaintiffs' anticipated but as yet unpled punitive damages claim. See Def.'s Reply at 2, Dkt. 236. For the reasons stated below, the Court will deny the motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On April 24, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel production of four categories of documents, including (1) Ineligible Volunteer Files (“IV Files”); (2) documents related to Dr. Finkelhor's 2006 proposal to study the IV files; (3) complaints, petitions, and demand letters containing allegations of child sexual abuse; and (4) deposition testimony from other cases. On September 1, 2017, this Court ordered BSA to produce the following documents:

         1. IV Files

         The Court ordered BSA to produce clean copies of the pre-1982 IV files, as well as IV files created after 1982 that document abuse occurring through 1982. Dkt. 225 at 4. The Court found these files were relevant to the falsity of alleged representations by BSA that Scouting was safe, the application of the noneconomic damages cap, and Plaintiff's anticipated punitive damages claim. Id. at 6, 8. While the Court found that IV files created after 1982 related to post-1982 abuse would be relevant to Plaintiff's anticipated punitive damages claim, the Court did not order BSA to produce those files, pursuant to BSA's agreement, Dkt. 212 at 3, that they would not introduce evidence of post-1982 remedial changes to their Youth Protection efforts.

         2. Finkelhor documents

         The Court ordered BSA to produce the Finkelhor documents upon finding those documents relevant to both the application of the noneconomic damages cap and Plaintiffs' anticipated punitive damages claim. Dkt. 225 at 11.

         3. Complaints, Petitions, and Demand Letters

         The Court ordered BSA to produce records of claims for sexual abuse that occurred between 1970 and 1982, upon finding those records relevant to the falsity of the alleged representations by BSA that Scouting was safe. Id. at 13. The Court did not order BSA to produce records of claims for abuse occurring between 1983 through 1987, which it found relevant to the anticipated punitive damages claim, because the benefit of doing so was outweighed by the cost of production. Id. at 15.

         4. Deposition Testimony from Other Cases

         The Court ordered BSA to produce transcripts of depositions taken of employees or volunteers, who may be deceased or otherwise unable to testify, in cases in which it was alleged that Scout leaders sexually abused Scouts. Id. at 16. Production was limited to testimony given after 1980, in cases involving child sex abuse that occurred between 1970 and 1987. Id. The Court also ordered that BSA produce a list of lawsuits against BSA involving claims related to child sex abuse between 1970-1982. Id. The Court found these records relevant to the falsity of BSA's alleged representations, the noneconomic damages cap, the anticipated punitive damages claim, and issues of agency. Id.

         BSA now asks that the Court reconsider its Order, on the grounds that doing so is necessary to correct legal ...


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