United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge.
Court has before it (1) a motion filed by the Church to
exclude evidence of post-abuse conduct, (2) a motion filed by
the Church to exclude evidence of pre-1966 conduct, and (3) a
motion by BSA (joined by the Church) to exclude evidence of
post-representation evidence. The motions are fully briefed
and at issue. For the reasons explained below, the Court will
deny the motions.
Church's motion to exclude evidence of post-abuse conduct
seeks to exclude (1) any evidence that Larren Arnold - who
abused Doe XII - abused other Scouts after the last date of
his abuse of Doe XII, and (2) any evidence related to abuse
perpetrated by other scout leaders in Church-sponsored scout
troops that occurred after Doe XII's abuse. The Church
has also filed a motion to exclude any evidence of pre-1966
conduct, specifically conduct in 1964 regarding Arnold's
abuse of another Scout. BSA's motion (in which the Church
has joined) seeks to exclude any evidence related to abuse of
Doe XII that postdates defendants' alleged
misrepresentations or, in the alternative, any evidence of
abuse occurring after the first instance of abuse.
date Doe XII claims he was first abused by Arnold was in the
fall of 1974, following his twelfth birthday in October 1974.
See Doe XII Deposition (Dkt. No. 300-15) at p. 61.
The second and final abuse took place about a month or two
after the first abuse. Id.
Court has scheduled a jury trial for July 29, 2019, limited
to the issue of whether Doe XII settled his claims with BSA
and the Church by signing separate release agreements with
each defendant. A follow-on trial to resolve Doe XII's
constructive fraud claim will occur only if that first jury
finds that Doe XII did not settle his constructive fraud
claims. Moreover, defendants' statute of limitations
defense will not be tried as part of the trial on the
settlement issue - the limitations issue will instead be
tried as part of the constructive fraud trial if no
settlement is found.
the only issue currently set for trial is the settlement
issue, the Court need not decide now whether post-abuse,
post-misrepresentation, or pre-1966 conduct is relevant to
anything other than the settlement issue. That issue is
simple. Doe XII signed separate release agreements with BSA
and the Church. As to the Church, the issue is whether the
release agreement signed by Doe XII “expresses the
unambiguous intention of the parties to preclude Doe XII from
bringing a constructive fraud claim.” See
Memorandum Decision (Dkt. No. 240) at p. 6. Doe XII will
argue that the intent and language of the agreement is
limited to claims arising from the abuse and does not include
claims arising from constructive fraud. The Church will
counter that both claims were included in the agreement.
regard to BSA, Doe XII will argue that the release agreement
he signed is limited to claims arising from an
“accident, ” an ambiguous term that Doe XII
argues does not include claims for constructive fraud. BSA
will argue otherwise.
other words, the settlement issue as to the Church and BSA
will turn on the intent of the parties and the language of
two separate release agreements. While there was some brief
discussion in the motions, there was no in-depth analysis of
how post-abuse conduct, post-misrepresentation conduct, or
pre-1966 conduct relates (or does not relate) to the intent
of the parties in signing the release agreements at issue.
The result is that the Court does not have the briefing it
needs to make an informed decision on these motions to
exclude. Moreover, even with further briefing, the Court
would most likely wait until trial to see the evidence
proffered in context before it could issue a ruling.
Accordingly, the Court will deny the motions at this time,
without prejudice to the rights of defendants to object to
the evidence during the settlement trial.
accordance with the Memorandum Decision set forth above, NOW
THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that the motion to exclude
evidence of post-abuse conduct (docket no. 359), the motion
to exclude pre-1966 conduct (docket no. 360), and the motion
re post-representation evidence (docket no. 381) are DENIED