Attorneys involved in both sides of the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case have agreed on a November deadline for victims of Scouting sexual abuse to file claims.
On Monday May 18th, the bankruptcy court announced that the claims bar deadline is November 16, 2020, a date lawyers representing the BSA and Scouting abuse victims agreed upon. The official committee representing abuse victims argued that victims should have at least until December 31, objecting a previously proposed October 6 deadline.
"At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed and preoccupied with basic survival, sexual abuse survivors need and are entitled to a reasonable period of time after they receive notice from the bankruptcy Court to reflect seriously and make a decision whether to file a claim in this case," attorneys for the victims committee wrote in a court filing.
After first filing for bankruptcy in February, the BSA proposed a bar claims deadline of 80 days after the publication of the notice of the claims process. However, this drew immediate backlash from attorneys representing abuse victims. Scouting abuse attorneys argued that a later deadline would not only allow for more time for victims to file claims, but it would allow sufficient time to enact a nationwide program to notify claimants of the bar claims deadline.
“I know what abuse survivors feel and think,” said Tim Kosnoff, a leading attorney for the legal movement Abused in Scouting, which represent 3,200 Scouting abuse survivors. “This is their deepest, darkest secret and they don’t want to confront it. If they’re told they have to or they lose their rights forever, then they have to make a decision.”
Kosnoff reported that about 150 new clients sign on with Abused in Scouting every week, men from across the country alleging they were sexually abused as children while in Scouting programs. Kosnoff also estimated that the total number of claimants could reach to about 15,000 by the time the November deadline comes around. After this November 16 deadline, victims of Scouting abuse could forever be barred from filing claims against the BSA for their sexual abuse.
According to secret Boy Scout files that finally came into the light in court papers, over 12,000 boys have been molested in the BSA since the 1920s. These files tracked that approximately 7,800 abusers were in the Scouts, few of which were ever brought to justice for their crimes. Those filing claims against the BSA for sexual abuse allege that the youth organization not only permitted sexual abusers to harm children under their watch but even hid the tracks of molesters in the Scouts.
The BSA filed for bankruptcy protection in February in an act to halt the hundreds of lawsuits against them for child sex abuse. Through filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Boy Scouts say they hope to create a compensation fund for victims of Scouting abuse.
Were You Sexually Abused in Scouting Programs?
If you were sexually abused by a scoutmaster or Scouting leader while in BSA programs, the time to come forward is now. Now that the BSA bankruptcy court has set a bar claims deadline, your timeline to file a claim for your abuse has dramatically shortened. Any Scouting abuse claims that are filed against the BSA after the November 16 deadline will not be eligible for compensation through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, so your chance for recovery may forever be denied.
To see if you may be eligible to file a claim against the Boy Scouts of America for your abuse and participate in a chance to seek compensation for your abuse, contact Abused in Scouting today. We are a team of sexual abuse attorneys representing thousands of abuse survivors like you across the nation, ensure their rights and voices are protected during this bankruptcy process. We want to set you on the path toward healing, and we know holding your abusers in the Scouts accountable for their actions can help you do just that. To speak to a caring legal representative about your legal options during this time, contact us today at 1.888.99.SCOUT and receive your free, no-obligation case consultation.