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  1. #61
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    The club is liable, though there has to be some debate about retrospectively applying today's values towards volunteers to yesterday's standards/ norms.
    Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate.

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  3. #62
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    We receive annually about $2-3m less in annual variable distributions from the AFL compared to the Lions, Saints and Roos.

    If this judgment is not overturned or the quantum or damages not significantly reduced on appeal, we would have a very strong case for our distributions to be increased.

  4. #63
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Its a tough one. Clearly someone has suffered significantly and I can't begin to imagine the damage that has occurred.

    Clearly it happened at the club by one of the club's volunteers. The question is though, would the pay out be as high if the club in question was a local footy club?

    I think its really difficult for a jury to imagine what controls/regulations/systems were considered normal in the 1980's without relating back to their expectations in 2023. There was no such thing as child safeguarding rules; education of children around stranger danger and control over their privates was non-existent; no one, staff or volunteers, were police checked. Negligence is the careless or wilful disregard that results in a loss or damage to an aggrieved party.

    I don't know the facts, but applying today's standards would certainly make it look like negligence, when applying what was normal in the 1980's may not have. I'm not surprised the club is appealing. It should appeal, because the damages in my view are excessive.

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  6. #64
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Are the damages excessive? I haven't wanted to broach that bit. Maybe they are depending on perspective.

    Compensation based on who you were molested by is problematic. Why is one victim of heinous and disgusting treatment entitled to more than another. If you want to spend our taxes wisely, perhaps this is a good place to start.
    Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate.

  7. #65
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Are the damages excessive? I haven't wanted to broach that bit. Maybe they are depending on perspective.

    Compensation based on who you were molested by is problematic. Why is one victim of heinous and disgusting treatment entitled to more than another. If you want to spend our taxes wisely, perhaps this is a good place to start.
    Reading the story is pretty sickening, and the access to the kids was unwittingly facilitated by the club.

    Our governance clearly wasn't up to scratch.

    There are other aspects involved in the case however which affected the victim. For example he speaks of the impact of an insufficient sentence given to Hobbs causing him significant issues.

    I'm not sure how the club are liable for that?

    The ruling seems to place the entire financial impact at the foot of the club which to me doesn't seem right.

    We definitely need to be held accountable. It was a major failure of process letting this animal use the club to access his victims. Innocent kids.

  8. #66
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    I haven't read the rest of the thread There's no doubt in my mind that the club is in some way liable but I'm questioning the level of the payment to the poor man There's no doubt his whole life has been severely
    Damaged Why is it way more than the Catholic Church and schools etc have had to pay ?

  9. #67
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Throughandthrough View Post
    I haven't read the rest of the thread There's no doubt in my mind that the club is in some way liable but I'm questioning the level of the payment to the poor man There's no doubt his whole life has been severely
    Damaged Why is it way more than the Catholic Church and schools etc have had to pay ?
    Jury were GWS fans?

    It's a very good question. I can't begin to understand the threshold.

    The club is liable, the volunteer was elevated to a status of trusted by the club which facilitated his ability to prey on the most vulnerable in our flock.

    Thinking about it some more today the statement from the club doesn't sit well with me, Gordon and Galimberti saying they were unaware REALLY doesn't sit well with me, and the appeal although legally responsible feels morally disputable.

    I'm around the same age, was at the club around the same time as a member of the cheer squad, at training etc and thinking back you really did trust adults who were ratified by the club. Wow you work for the Bulldogs that sort of thing. It could have been anyone, unfortunately for Adam Kneale he was the unlucky kid.

    Let's take our fair whack and put this shameful chapter behind us.

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  11. #68
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal


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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    I’m not sufficiently across these types of cases and what constitutes a fair and reasonable payout, however it does seem at the higher end of liability for an organisation to pay for a volunteer if we had no notice of the abuse contemporaneously. No doubt the compensation is commiserate to the abuse the victim suffered and impact it’s had on their life and the lives of their family. It’s unfortunate that the club has been determined liable to bear it.

    Re the clubs statement, I think it’s fine. It’s a straight bat around the decision, our next steps from a legal perspective and doesn’t in anyway diminish the victim. Not much more we could or should say at this point. Clearly we’ve received an opinion there’s merit in appeal. Let’s see what a higher authority says.

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  14. #70
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    Jury were GWS fans?

    It's a very good question. I can't begin to understand the threshold.

    The club is liable, the volunteer was elevated to a status of trusted by the club which facilitated his ability to prey on the most vulnerable in our flock.

    Thinking about it some more today the statement from the club doesn't sit well with me, Gordon and Galimberti saying they were unaware REALLY doesn't sit well with me, and the appeal although legally responsible feels morally disputable.

    I'm around the same age, was at the club around the same time as a member of the cheer squad, at training etc and thinking back you really did trust adults who were ratified by the club. Wow you work for the Bulldogs that sort of thing. It could have been anyone, unfortunately for Adam Kneale he was the unlucky kid.

    Let's take our fair whack and put this shameful chapter behind us.
    I was at the club at the same time it was happening . Can’t believe it happened , this bloke had a Gaul, I am 100% sure the trainers had no idea as they would have beaten the shit out of him.
    And for them not to know just shows how good pedopiles are at doing it without people knowing and how to control kids .
    They have to be extremely smart and sly to get away with it.
    Bring back the biff

  15. #71
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Payouts for sexual abuse cases dwarf every other kind of damages payouts, especially in Victorian courts, probably the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction in Australia.

    I think we probably should’ve seen this coming and not let it reach the courts. Not like you’re going to win on optics if there’s going to be an adverse finding on liability anyway.
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

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  17. #72
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    No winners in this. Just a sad situation all round.

    Just glad we have all the necessary work with children checks etc now and we have mechanisms to make sure this does not happen ever again.
    "Footscray people are incredible people; so humble. I'm just so happy - ecstatic"

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  19. #73
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    On a payout sense considering there are multiple victims would it not are more sense to set a total payout figure that the club is liable for and all victims found eligible get to draw from that pool?

    Ie. Bulldogs are held liable for say $20M to be shared across the victim group, with maybe a cap on how much each victim can claim until are certain amount have been identified.

    As it stands if say 9 more victims come froward and get similiar payouts then the club is liable for $50M+, and while the cause is good I don't know if ruining the club is the end goal here?
    I should leave it alone but you're not right

  20. #74
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by soupman View Post
    On a payout sense considering there are multiple victims would it not are more sense to set a total payout figure that the club is liable for and all victims found eligible get to draw from that pool?

    Ie. Bulldogs are held liable for say $20M to be shared across the victim group, with maybe a cap on how much each victim can claim until are certain amount have been identified.

    As it stands if say 9 more victims come froward and get similiar payouts then the club is liable for $50M+, and while the cause is good I don't know if ruining the club is the end goal here?
    I guess the victims would have to arrange that prior? Like a class action v the Dogs. The legal experts on here could tell us.

    As for the end goal, inflicting pain on the club, inflicts pain on the members which is a community of people who leverage the club to give them some distraction from the every day.

    It would be insane to bring it down. Surely our record re gambling, community health etc puts us in good stead?

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  22. #75
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    Reading the story is pretty sickening, and the access to the kids was unwittingly facilitated by the club.

    Our governance clearly wasn't up to scratch.

    There are other aspects involved in the case however which affected the victim. For example he speaks of the impact of an insufficient sentence given to Hobbs causing him significant issues.

    I'm not sure how the club are liable for that?

    The ruling seems to place the entire financial impact at the foot of the club which to me doesn't seem right.

    We definitely need to be held accountable. It was a major failure of process letting this animal use the club to access his victims. Innocent kids.
    Just playing Devil's advocate here as I agree to some extent with what you are saying:

    Governance - what governance structures existed in the 80's to do with safeguarding across sporting clubs generally. I am pretty certain that there were never rules requiring police checks or not being alone with children or rules about physical contact etc. So if there were no rules/guidelines etc for the club to abide by, how have they failed in their duty?

    Process Failure - again putting your 1980's hat on what process should we have had that we didn't have? If there was no established governance/whistleblowing processes, how have we failed in process.

    I have no doubt that the person has been damaged, but when we talk in terms of Governance/Process, we are applying 2023 concepts to the reality of life in the 1980s and that is revisionism on a large scale.

    Had this action been taken in 1993 when the individual was arrested and jailed what would the compensation payout have been? I doubt it would have been anywhere near what it today evening relative terms.

    We should appeal and tie this one up for a couple of years whilst offering to do a settlement for a more reasonable amount.

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