|Chamblee Ryan Attorney William "Bill" Chamblee quoted in The Dallas Business Journal article |
Boy Scouts allegations involving abuse highlight legal lessons
|September 21, 2012 11:40 pm|
The Dallas Business Journal:
Conduct thorough background checks. Report abuse allegations to authorities. Act swiftly.
Those are among the legal lessons that businesses and other organizations that serve youth can learn from the experience of Irving-based Boy Scouts of America, which this week faced new allegations that officials sought to conceal sexual abuse within the organization.
From a legal standpoint, the general rule that applies to any organization — profit or not-for-profit, large or small — is that one is not liable for the criminal acts of a third party, unless the organization knew or should have known of the acts and failed to take reasonable steps to protect against it, said Bill Chamblee of Dallas law firm Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson.
"One of the big things (in the Boy Scouts case) will be what did they know, when did they know it and what did they do to deal with it, eradicate it, report it and terminate the alleged offenders," Chamblee said.
According to Chamblee, any organization that involves the mentoring, education or supervision of minors should have or install the following processes:
n Thorough background checks
n Policies and procedures that encourage the free flow of information regarding suspicions of inappropriate behavior
© 2012 American City Business Journals
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