Today, January 9, 2020, Nancy Winkler will present at HarrisMartin’s Talcum Powder Litigation Conference in Miami, Florida.
Nancy will join a panel of eight distinguished catastrophic personal injury attorneys to discuss recent developments in lawsuits filed in a number of states in which the plaintiffs allege that their use of products containing talc powder caused their ovarian cancer.
“At Eisenberg Rothweiler, we represent many women who believe they contracted ovarian cancer as a result of their longtime use of products containing talc powder like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower,” said Winkler. “These women are now suing Johnson & Johnson because they allege that it failed to warn consumers that these products could cause cancer. As a result, our firm is very much plugged into what’s happening both in Pennsylvania and across the country in similar lawsuits alleging that products containing talc powder cause ovarian cancer.”
If you used either Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower Powder regularly as a feminine hygiene product on your genital area and later received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, then you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Please visit Eisenberg Rothweiler’s talc information center to learn more information about the connection between the use of talc products and ovarian cancer, and to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
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Rob Rosenthal [00:00:00] Hi again, everybody. And this is another episode of Ask the Lawyer. Today, we’re going to ask about some disturbing allegations surrounding a longtime reform school for children in Pennsylvania. I’m Rob Rosenthal with AskTheLawyers.com. And here to answer our questions is attorney Nancy Winkler of the law firm of Eisenberg, Rothweiler Winkler, Eisenberg and Jeck, based in Philadelphia. Nancy, thank you for making some time for us today.
Nancy Winkler [00:00:22] Certainly.
Rob Rosenthal [00:00:23] So we’re talking about the Glen Mills School. Give us the background. What is allegedly or was alleged to have happened here at the Glen Middle School?
Nancy Winkler [00:00:32] The Glen Mills School has been in existence for since the eighteen hundreds. And it’s on our sprawling land in Glen Mills, P.A. They have they’ve promoted themselves as having an educational strong educational program, physical education program, great football team. This is a place that kids from across the country have been sent. It is a school for juveniles who they tout on their Web site, juvenile delinquents. It’s a place where courts have sent kids when they have had drug charges. As an alternative to jail, it’s a reform school. If they’ve had some other criminal conduct, also for truancy, also for things such as child was there who was autistic, and it was very difficult for his parents to care for him. And they wanted a safe environment. So they placed him at the Glen Mills School. They receive funding from the Philadelphia School District on a yearly basis for each people. Thousands of young boys have passed through the halls on a yearly basis. And it is we have learned recently that the conditions there have been horrific. These boys have been abused for years on end. There has been physical abuses as well as sexual abuses and emotional abuses for these young men. Their lives have been devastated.
Rob Rosenthal [00:02:14] And is this something that we’re just now learning about, Nancy? Is this. How long have these allegations been have had come to light?
Nancy Winkler [00:02:22] It is something that has come to light more recently. There has been a large expert say in the Philadelphia Inquirer this summer. There is currently a grand jury investigation into some of the conduct that has gone on for years. Some of the there have been counselors that have been brought up on charges. This is something that has only recently come to light.
Rob Rosenthal [00:02:48] Is the school still. Is it open now today as we speak? What is the status?
Nancy Winkler [00:02:54] It has been shut down by the state, however, there. If you look at their current Web site, there is a new director and they are talking about opening the school again. Hopefully that will never happen. Currently, we represent over 250 young men that have passed through those doors who have been abused. And as I say, that sent there not only from Pennsylvania but from states across the country. We have a gentleman that was sent there from Texas. And what what they’ve gone through has been life altering for them. The they have not told family members for many years. They’ve kept it secret. People have had broken bones. People have had stitches. People have had emotional trauma that has just changed their lives forever. There have been young boys that have been raped. It is a place that needed to be shut down and a form thorough investigation criminally as well as civil actions need to be filed so that they can they justice can be served for the young boys whose lives have been altered.
Rob Rosenthal [00:04:11] Is it your understanding at this point that the administration was aware of these abuses? Are they and what are they saying? What did what is this school’s defensive reaction?
Nancy Winkler [00:04:23] We have just filed a few of these actions and we’ll be filing more. As I say, we represent over 250 young men today who have passed through those doors and have been abused. But it is our understanding that there has been a culture of abuse that has been perpetuated. And, you know, that has from the leadership down.
Rob Rosenthal [00:04:47] And I would imagine, as you said, it sounds like from their website that they’re planning to reopen it at this point. Is leadership saying these these allegations are false and none of this ever happened? Are they not saying anything worth? Where do they stand?
Nancy Winkler [00:05:00] Well, it’s not quite like that. I don’t know in terms of the grand jury investigation, we don’t know about that, obviously, because that is that is not open to the public. But what has been public? You know, they have appointed an independent counsel to do some investigation into the allegations. They are not really they’re not confirming or denying.
Rob Rosenthal [00:05:29] And so you mentioned your firm is handling a civil case against them. Who? Who do you see at this point? Who are you going after? Is that individuals? Do you use it against the administration? Is it the Philadelphia school system that supported it? Where did you find to hold responsible for all this?
Nancy Winkler [00:05:47] No, it is the Glen Mills schools that we have brought suit against. And we’ll be filing other lawsuits against. It is the Glen Mills School and the leadership that has perpetuated and encouraged and allowed this culture of abuse to take place.
Rob Rosenthal [00:06:02] And if someone is out there, you’ve said there’s been some students there from all over the country. And I would imagine we don’t know how long this may have been going on. How do they reach out to if there’s someone watching this video says they experienced that? Who do they reach out to?
Nancy Winkler [00:06:17] Well, you know, unfortunately, a lot of these young men have not told anybody about this. And our office and our co counsel, we’ve been the very first people that they have ever talked about it to because it has been so difficult for them to be able to even discuss. But my suggestion is that you see counsel, you know, our office, as I say, is actively investigating all of these cases. It’s not just them in the Glendale school. As you know, we’ve come to learn it has been a horrific place when it had been touted to be a place that young man could go to, to have a healthy environment, to be able to get an education, to be able to go on with their lives and be reformed. It has done quite the opposite to these young men and has broken them. But this isn’t the only school that has done that. There is also the Deveraux Foundation. And I you know, I don’t now rather know about it, but there have been allegations and there was just a verdict in Georgia against the Deveraux Foundation, which is a Pennsylvania corporation for abuse that had taken place at their facility. So if anyone has been abused, either sexually or physically abused, my suggestion is that you seek counsel, seek therapy first and foremost, because, you know, counsel can’t help you get better. We can help you get justice, but you need to seek some therapy to help get your life together.
Rob Rosenthal [00:07:50] What if they’re thinking, Nancy, I can’t afford counsel, I can’t afford a firm meal of your size and prestige. What do you say to that?
Nancy Winkler [00:07:58] We don’t charge anything for representation until we succeed. So if somebody comes to see me, I’m glad to speak with them, to meet with them, to see if I can take on their case, if I decide to take on their case. They don’t pay me anything until I get a recovery, either by settlement or by verdict. So they have nothing to risk. We always we take the risk. We you know, we only handle very serious cases and my firm and we take risk every day of the week. We take a risk that is a calculated risk. We’re very careful about the cases we do take. But we, you know, largely represent people that need justice.
Rob Rosenthal [00:08:36] What if they’re you know, you guys are based in Philadelphia, but as you’ve said, it’s people all over the country if they’re out of the state of Pennsylvania. Do they need a plan to visit to physically to come to the office, at least in that initial consultation or what?
Nancy Winkler [00:08:49] I know they can. They can call me on the phone. I’ve done this through either of attorneys refer cases to us also throughout the country. But an individual that that has been harmed can call me on the phone. We can speak over the phone. We can do a face time or a Skype interview if we need to. We want me to meet in person. Things can be done through the mail, through e-mail. It’s a you know, the world is much smaller these days, Rob, than it was before. And it’s not a problem at all.
Rob Rosenthal [00:09:18] Now, you’ve mentioned you’re already are representing over 200 individuals. Are these of all ages or are they all tend to be recent students at the school or are there some of those go back years? What have you found?
Nancy Winkler [00:09:30] So. They are not all recent students at the school. Some of this does go back years. And depending upon the nature of the injury and the facts of the case, we might be able to take it on. So my best advice is if you’re unsure and you have been harmed either physically or sexually or both. Besides the emotional component, of course, that goes with all of that. My suggestion is that you seek counsel. I’ll be glad. To speak with you, if you call my office, as I’m sure other attorneys would. But we you know, we have a lot of information about this. This facility.
Rob Rosenthal [00:10:10] Nancy, thank you for sharing this information with a very troubling story. And I appreciate what you guys are doing to help out. Thank you. That’s going to do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been attorney Nancy Winkler with the Philadelphia law firm of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg. And Jeck, if you’re ready to choose a lawyer that lawyers choose. Make sure to visit AskTheLawyers.com. Also, please subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking on the button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks for watching. I’m Rob Rosenthal with AskTheLawyers.com.
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Sonjay Singh, a third-year student at Temple University Beasley School of Law, was recently named as the school’s 2019–2020 Stewart J. Eisenberg Scholar. The scholarship, endowed by our own Stewart Eisenberg, is given annually to the Temple Law student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in trial advocacy and a strong desire in pursuing the career path of a trial lawyer.
“The legal education I received at what was then the Temple University School of Law helped mold me into the attorney I am today,” said Eisenberg, who graduated from the school in 1980, served on the Temple Law Review, and received the Barristers Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. “It is a pleasure to help the next generation of outstanding Temple Law students complete their studies so that they can enter the practice of law.”
Singh expects to graduate from Temple Law in May 2020 with a Juris Doctor and a Certificate in Trial Advocacy and Litigation. In addition to being named an Eisenberg Scholar, Singh was previously named the 2018–19 Joey Pozzuolo Memorial Scholar for his outstanding academic achievements, is a member of Temple’s National Trial Team having won First Place honors in the 2019 UPR Trial Advocacy Invitational.
During law school, Singh has interned at a prominent Los Angeles personal injury firm and at the Office of the District Attorney in Philadelphia. Prior to entering law school, Singh co-founded and served as chief operating officer of a recruiting and human resources technology startup that raised over $2,000,000 in outside investments. Singh graduated from Trinity College in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and American government.
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The Pennsylvania Superior Court has issued a stunning reversal on a lower court ruling that favored Travelers Insurance Company and its assertion that PTSD should not be a covered bodily injury. The reversal may have many accident victims wondering whether PTSD could be considered a bodily injury in their cases as well.
According to court documents, the victim, Carol Evans, had been hit by a tractor-trailer while she was trying to change lanes. The force of the impact pushed Evan’s car toward a concrete barrier before she was able to regain control and pull over to the right side of the interstate. Immediately following the accident, Evans complained of head and neck pain but wanted to try and manage the symptoms on her own.
In the week following the accident, Evans began to feel increasingly dizzy and in pain, suffering from headaches, neck pain, and balance issues. She also began suffering from nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. Doctors diagnosed her with a concussion, a closed head injury, vertigo, post-traumatic vestibuloneuronitis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She eventually had to undergo physical therapy to treat balance issues. She was also treated by a psychiatrist to deal with emotional distress.
Travelers Insurance Company ended up paying Evans for the injuries that resulted from the accident, but it denied her PTSD claim. It paid for the initial treatment by the psychiatrist but refused to pay for future treatment. Travelers reasoned that PTSD did not constitute a bodily injury. Evans decided to take the company to court.
The trial court judge ruled in favor of the insurance company, citing Zerr v. Erie Insurance Exchange. The ruling in the Zerr case set a legal precedent and held that emotional distress cannot be considered bodily harm, even if it results in physical manifestations of symptoms. However, the circumstances of that case were different from Evan’s own case, and she argued that Zerr’s claim for coverage was based only on an emotional injury. There were no accompanying physical injuries, whereas in her case, it was an undisputed fact that she had suffered both physical injuries and emotional distress, including PTSD.
The three-judge panel considering Evan’s appeal of the ruling took into consideration the fact that Evans presented enough evidence to support her claim that the traumatic events of the car crash and subsequent injuries led to her PTSD. Their examination of the medical documentation led them to determine that there was evidence that her emotional trauma was tied to her physical injuries.
What does this mean for the future of claims against insurance companies following an accident? The ruling, in this case, could be laying the legal groundwork for courts to better determine when PTSD may be considered covered as a bodily injury. The medical documentation that so closely intertwined Evan’s physical injuries to her mental trauma and PTSD diagnosis was one of the most important factors in helping the court determine that PTSD was indeed to be considered a bodily injury in the context of this case.
Need Legal Advice? Contact Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C.
Were you hurt in a catastrophic auto accident in Philadelphia? If so, turn to the respected trial lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., for the advice you need. Our experienced injury attorneys will fight for every last dollar of compensation you are owed, including payment for PTSD if applicable.
Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.
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A football fan may not see any of the $700,000 in damages awarded in a 2018 jury verdict against the Philadelphia Eagles over allegations of negligent security. The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently vacated the award in a ruling that “could prove instructive in other premises liability cases,” according to The Legal Intelligencer.
Patrick Pearson, who is a Dallas Cowboys fan, attended a matchup on Dec. 14, 2014, between the Eagles and Cowboys on the Eagles’ home turf, Lincoln Financial Field. That day, Pearson wore a Troy Aikman jersey, honoring the former Cowboys’ player-turned-commentator. He said in court papers that Eagles’ fans jeered at him while in line for the restroom, scuffled with him, and tossed his Cowboys cap into a urinal, PennLive.com reported.
Pearson suffered a fractured ankle and later underwent two surgeries. In 2016, he sued the Eagles, the field’s corporate owner, and the field’s security provider, accusing them of negligence because no guards were in or near the restrooms.
A jury in May 2018 awarded Pearson $700,000 in damages following a trial. However, in October 2019, state judges said that the lower court should have dismissed the case in favor of the Eagles.
Pearson had cited a 1984 state Supreme Court ruling in Feld v. Merriam,1)Stewart J. Eisenberg not only assisted in trying this case but also retried the case in 1986 after the verdict was reversed by the PA Supreme Court in 1984. The second trial resulted in a $2.2 million verdict. which holds property owners liable for any foreseeable harm to visitors that the property owner doesn’t sufficiently prevent.
However, in Pearson’s case, a three-judge panel decided that the record did not support the claim that violent assaults or fighting was common in the restrooms. Rather, the majority opinion found that the defendants had “recognized this danger and addressed the issue” by sending guards to patrol the stands to stop any altercations or harassment there.
“Where a property owner knows or has reason to know, from past experience, that there is a likelihood of conduct on the part of third persons that would harm invitees, the property owner ‘may be under a duty to take precautions against it, and to provide a reasonably sufficient number of servants to afford a reasonable protection,’” Superior Court Judge Mary Murray wrote in the court’s majority opinion. “In this case, however, the record does not support the trial court’s conclusion that appellants were on notice that violent assaults regularly took place in the stadium’s restrooms or that appellants conducted their security program without reasonable care.”
However, Senior Judge Eugene Strassburger III penned a concurring opinion in which he noted that it would be more fair to hold a business responsible than an injured consumer. “[Injuries] such as these are foreseeable risks of conducting this type of business, and commercial businesses are in a far better financial position to absorb the cost by spreading the risk among thousands of customers,” he wrote.
Pearson could appeal this ruling to the state Supreme Court.
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Eisenberg Rothweiler Secures a $2500000 Jury Verdict for the Family of a Wheelchair-Bound Man Who Died After Falling On His Way Home From an Eye Exam
On July 11, 2015, William Pratt, a 75-year-old wheelchair-bound double amputee, visited the Wills Eye Emergency Department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City Philadelphia. He sought medical attention for the significant pain he was feeling in his right eye.
Within 10 minutes of being discharged from his examination during which his pupils were dilated and he received an antibiotic ointment on his eye, he fell face-first down a set of outdoor concrete steps while strapped to his wheelchair.
Two weeks later, Mr. Pratt died from his injuries caused by that fall.
Recently, a Philadelphia jury awarded Mr. Pratt’s family $2,500,000 in damages against Wills Eye and Jefferson Hospital after a six-day trial.
Todd and Josh tried the case to the jury and secured the verdict.
The jury agreed with the family’s claims that the medical professionals who examined Mr. Pratt—including the triage nurse, the discharge nurse, and the attending physician—were negligent for:
Although no amount of money will bring Mr. Pratt back, Mr. Pratt’s family was pleased that the jury held the hospitals accountable for his tragic death.
You can read more about Todd’s and Josh’s winning efforts here in The Legal Intelligencer.
The Legal Intelligencer spotlights Eisenberg Rothweilers work representing clients sexually abused by Boy Scout leaders
A recent front-page article in The Legal Intelligencer, the leading Pennsylvania daily newspaper covering the legal industry, discussed in detail the work Stewart Eisenberg and Josh Schwartz have done on behalf of their clients who allege they were sexually abused by Boy Scouts of America scoutmasters. The article focused on the impact state laws have on the ability for survivors of sexual abuse by scoutmasters to bring lawsuits against the Boy Scouts.
The article mentioned the lawsuit that Stewart and Josh filed in August 2019 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of their client who alleges that he was assaulted hundreds of times by a former scoutmaster when he was a Boy Scout in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the 1970s.
The article also mentioned the large number of sex abuse lawsuits that Eisenberg Rothweiler and its partners on the Abused in Scouting legal team plan to file in the coming months against the Boy Scouts.
You can read The Legal Intelligencer’s article here.
Eisenberg Rothweiler Proudly Supports Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Legal Clinic for the Disabled
At Eisenberg Rothweiler, we are not shy about giving back to the people, communities, and organizations we serve and support.
Four of the charitable organizations we proudly support are the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Legal Clinic for the Disabled. The firm recently made notable donations to each.
Nancy Winkler led the firm’s donation to the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and sponsorship of the organization’s recent 44th Annual Evening of Hope 2019 Golden Gut Awards. Nancy’s long-standing support of the charity began as a result of her son’s battle with Crohn’s and her family learning firsthand through that experience how devastating the disease can be. Nancy continues to be active in the organization and serves on the committee for the annual Evening of Hope event, helping to raise funds to support research to improve the lives of those affected by the disease and to find a cure.
Ken Rothweiler led the firm’s donation to the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Ken’s relationship with the organization began years ago when his wife Linda battled breast cancer. Linda and Ken credit the cancer drug Herceptin with saving Linda’s life. The National Breast Cancer Coalition funded the research for Herceptin. Linda and Ken are active in the organization, with Linda serving on its Board of Trustees and working tirelessly on annual fundraisers in Los Angeles and New York City.
Dan Jeck led the firm’s donation to the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. The donation was made in the name of one of Dan’s dear friends who is an ovarian cancer survivor.
Stewart Eisenberg led the firm’s donation to the Legal Clinic for the Disabled. Stewart’s and the firm’s relationship with the organization dates back many years. The firm has been a major sponsor of the organization’s annual Fall Celebration.
For more information about these worthy causes, please visit https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/
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In the wake of Johnson & Johnson discovering that a bottle of its baby powder contained asbestos, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, and Walmart have pulled some or all of the 22-ounce bottles of Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder the stores stock on their shelves and online.
The retailers’ actions come on the heels of Johnson & Johnson’s recent announcement that it was recalling around 33,000 22-ounce bottles of baby powder in the United States after a private lab hired by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a 22-ounce bottle of baby powder purchased online.
In a shocking twist, the director of that private lab under contract with the FDA has been paid by Johnson & Johnson since 2017 to serve as an expert witness for the company in its defense against lawsuits claiming that the company’s talc products caused cancer in users of those products. In other words, the person that Johnson & Johnson hired to help convince juries that there was no asbestos in the company’s baby powder just found asbestos in that same baby powder.
In light of Johnson & Johnson’s recall, the Wall Street Journal reported that CVS is removing 22-ounce bottles of the company’s baby powder from store shelves and its online store. The retailer has also set up a system in its stores to prevent the sale of the 22-ounce baby powder bottles if a customer attempts to purchase it at a register or online. CVS has said that any customers who purchased the product from CVS should discontinue using it and can return it for a refund.
Reuters reported that Target has also removed all bottles of the product from its stores and Target.com following the recall. The news agency reported that Rite Aid has followed suit and informed its stores to remove all 22-ounce bottles of the baby powder from its shelves and to store them in a secure location. Walmart, too, has reportedly removed and blocked all potentially impacted baby powder.
The recalled lot number, #22318RB, can be found on the back of baby powder bottles. The FDA has said that consumers who purchased bottles with this lot on it should stop using it and contact Johnson & Johnson for a refund.
The timing of the retailers’ actions and Johnson & Johnson’s recall could not come at a worse time for the company. It is currently fighting thousands of lawsuits across the United States—totaling almost 15,000 claims—alleging that its Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc products cause cancer.
Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. is one of the law firms suing Johnson & Johnson over its alleged cancer-causing baby powder. In fact, our Nancy Winkler and Todd Schoenhaus recently defeated Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to move one of our clients’ Talc-related lawsuits to a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. In that lawsuit, our client alleges that her ovarian cancer was caused by the talc in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.
With the judge ruling in our client’s favor, her case is back in court in Philadelphia and will almost certainly be the first talc-related case to be tried before a Philadelphia jury.
If you used either Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder or Shower to Shower Powder regularly as a feminine hygiene product on your genital area and later received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, then you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Please visit Eisenberg Rothweiler’s Talc information center to learn more information about the connection between the use of talc products and ovarian cancer, and to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
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New York Post article ties increase in Boy Scouts membership fees to sex abuse cases filed against itincluding those brought by Eisenberg Rothweiler
On January 1, 2020, the Boy Scouts’ registration fee will almost double from $33 to $60 per scout. In a recent article, the New York Post attributed the increase to the sex abuse cases against the Boy Scouts, including former scouts represented by Eisenberg Rothweiler and the Abused in Scouting team.
Abused in Scouting is a group of lawyers from three law firms including Eisenberg Rothweiler who have banded together to take on the Boy Scouts. In recent months, the organization has provided more than 1,000 redacted client case files to the Boy Scouts. The files contain the names of leaders accused of sexually abusing children, along with their troop designations and timelines of their alleged abuse.
The New York Post article discusses the efforts of Abused in Scouting’s Tim Kosnoff and Andrew Van Arsdale in helping victims seek justice for the abuse they contend they suffered at the hands of the Boy Scouts and its leaders. The article mentions that Abused in Scouting has over 1,300 clients from 48 states and two territories, including over 100 clients in New York state and New Jersey alone.
You can read the New York Post’s article here.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a leader in the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.abusedinscouting.com to learn more about your legal rights and to schedule a confidential free consultation.
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