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Boy Scouts Abuse Bankruptcy Filing

Boy Scouts Abuse Bankruptcy Filing

Many people in America are presumably familiar with a Chapter 11, just as they may be familiar with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and its involvement in an ongoing sexual abuse scandal. If anything, this past decade’s impressive highlight reel of lawsuits, high-profile sexual scandals and off-shoot #MeToo movements have held the public enthralled. This BSA sexual scandal has largely had the same effect. 

Americans have had to reconcile with the complicit role played by one of its oldest and most respected institutions in the sexual assault and abuse of thousands of children. For many years now, the BSA has been battling wave after wave of lawsuits by survivors of these abuses, along with disputes with its insurance companies.

The BSA has since paid, according to this report, more than $150 million in settlements and legal costs between 2017 and 2019. The organization was set up to lose far more, in the face of mounting potential lawsuits, until it filed for bankruptcy in February. 

For an organization with at least $1 billion dollars in assets, this raises necessary questions. Like what the filing means in regard to the liability of the organization; especially concerning the claimants who are currently in court seeking compensation, or for other survivors who are yet, but want, to do so.

BSA Sexual Abuse allegations and Chapter 11 filing

According to a former official, the Boy Scouts of America have battled allegations of child sexual abuse “since the Boy Scouts began”. The organization even had insurance from which it paid out settlements to victims over the years. 

Coverage has since been taken away by the BSA's insurers due to the sheer number of these cases and “the insincerity of the BSA”. Allegations by abuse victims include rape and child sexual assault on scouts by scout leaders, and the negligence of the BSA in employing pedophiles. 

Victims also allege that the BSA intentionally hid reports of abuse from the authorities and the victim’s families, and further endangered children by allowing many culprits to re-register as scout leaders. According to this Investigation by the Washington Times, more than 1,000 scouts reported being abused by their leaders over a 19-year period from 1971 to 1990. Over 230 scout leaders were subsequently banned from volunteering between 1975 and 1984. 

Since the 2000s, thousands more cases of abuse were reported and smothered by the BSA. The release in 2012, of confidential documents now popularly known as “the perversion files” created a harrowing picture of the whole scandal, but large parts of the puzzle still remain hidden. An investigator hired by the Scouts, said the Washington Post, reported that her team had found about 12,254 victims and 7,819 culprits in internal documents from 1946 through to 2016. Some believe the actual numbers to be higher. 

This year, on February 18, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in what was a long-anticipated move since their announcement of the possibility in 2018. The bankruptcy filing comes after a deluge of new cases since the overhaul, by many states, of statute-of-limitation laws. 

The BSA tried to dispel the general perception by saying that it was not trying to evade its obligations in respect of these lawsuits. The President of the BSA maintained that the bankruptcy filing was simply an orderly way out for the organization out of the murky situation; providing equitable compensation for victims while ensuring the BSA’s survival.

Our Boy Scouts lawsuit attorneys at Oshan & Associates have been aboard the fight to obtain relief against the BSA. The Bankruptcy does in any way affect your ability to seek redress, provided you contact us promptly. Our Boy Scouts sexual abuse attorneys are well acquainted with the process of bankruptcy filing such as the BSA’s and are most qualified to represent your interests. 

Implications for claimants and victims

The filing essentially interrupts all ongoing and prospective sexual abuse actions against the Boy Scouts of America. And although claimants can still get their stories out there, they may have to come out before they are ready and even then, will not be able to have their cases heard in court.

Ultimately, all cases are on hold, pending the determination of the bankruptcy petition. This does not mean the BSA is broke; victims can still claim and obtain compensation from the BSA.

The filing was for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection which basically allows the BSA to defer to a bankruptcy judge, who will then equitably distribute their assets and insurance in compensation to abuse victims. The bankruptcy operates only in respect of the national BSA, so claimants will be able to take separate action against other entities like the local councils. This should preferably be done before the statute of limitations expires.

The national BSA may theoretically cease to exist, but that is very unlikely in this case, considering the value of the organization’s assets. Even then, a new entity may be subsequently formed by local councils to oversee their activities.

The bankruptcy also comes with a deadline for claims, so victims must come forward and file their claim before the “bar date” set by the court. Victims that do not file their claim before the end of this period, which lasts till November 16, 2020, will forever forfeit their claim against the BSA. 

Our Boy Scout’s Lawsuit Attorneys can help

If you or someone you know has a claim against the Boy Scouts, it is imperative to move now. Time is of the essence. Contact us to know how you can ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

The Boy Scouts lawsuit attorneys at Oshan & Associates have been in the trenches with survivors fighting against organizations like these for many years. We have the requisite insight on the varying issues that dog a bankruptcy such as this from our extensive experience on clergy abuse. We simply know how to win cases like these. 

Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and share your story with our Boy Scouts sexual abuse attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The Boy Scouts filed for Bankruptcy; doesn’t that mean that my ongoing action is ruined?
  • No, because the BSA filed for a chapter 11 bankruptcy, all pending cases in court are simply stayed, or paused till the grant of the bankruptcy petition. Your current action is not ruined beyond the fact that your case will not be heard in court or ultimately decided by a jury of your peers. 

    Regardless, you will still be able to gain adequate compensation if the bankruptcy is granted. This could be a sum paid out from the Boy Scout’s assets and it will be given based on the strength of claim.

  • Why should I still go ahead and file a claim?
  • Because, it is now more crucial than ever, that you act immediately. The Bankruptcy petition does not invalidate your claim. We understand that the current circumstances may be forcing you to come out sooner than originally desired. 

    We understand how sexual abuse can weigh on the mind, and that some victims may take years before they can heal just enough to make their stories heard. The shortened time frame however determines whether you will ever get justice for what someone at the Boy Scouts did to you.

    It may relieve your fears to know that if you file through our boy scout lawsuit attorneys at the bankruptcy court, you likely won’t have to give testimony in open court. There is also precedent to assure that your identity will also be kept confidential and out of the news. What’s more, the resolution of the whole matter I bankruptcy court will be great closure for you.

  • I was abused quite recently; can I still file a claim?
  • Yes, you most certainly should. In fact, now is the time to file if you have been a victim of sexual abuse by a Boy Scouts leader. The Bankruptcy’s call for claims allows you to file a claim regardless of your age.

    Our experienced Boy Scout lawsuit attorneys can help you file a claim if you have just been a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of your scout leader. You must contact us as soon as possible to ensure that your interests are represented and your claim filed before the bar date (November 18,2020). Failure to have us do this for you will mean you will be forever barred from bringing a claim.

  • How do I file my claim at the Bankruptcy court?
  • The first step is to get in touch with our Boy Scouts lawsuit attorneys. We can use our expertise to safely steer you in the needed direction. You will need to initiate the process by filling a short “claim form” that provides, to the court, information about your sexual abuse case. 

    You will be required to state where and when the abuse occurred, the identity of the abuser and the severity of the abuse. It is this information that will then be used by the court to determine the merits and value of your case. The court will usually clarify, in the beginning, what information is needed to verify your claim. 

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