After nearly a year of speculation, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection, responding to the thousands of sexual abuse lawsuits against them.
The BSA filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy overnight Monday, February 17, 2020 in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court. While this filing allows the youth organization to come up with a reorganization plan to meet its obligations to creditors, the direct impact on the Boy Scouts’ current and future operations still unknown.
The BSA released a statement of their bankruptcy filing, indicating they intend to respond to the hundreds of child sex abuse lawsuits pending against them by creating a Victims Compensation Trust.
"The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting,” the BSA reported in the statement.
Reports of the BSA filing for bankruptcy first arose in late 2018 as increasing numbers of child sex abuse allegations were brought forward by former Boy Scouts. Thousands of men across the United States claim that Scouting leaders within the Boy Scouts of America took advantage of their authority and trust and molested the children under their care. Many of these allegations say the BSA intentionally covered the tracks of Scouting sexual predators and quietly dismissed sexual abuse reports.
With the increasing lawsuits, many speculated the youth organization would mimic the Catholic Church in how they faced child sex abuse lawsuits. Unlike the Catholic Church, which has nearly 2 dozen dioceses filing for bankruptcy protection, the BSA’s bankruptcy filing will be impacted on a national, not individual, level. “Scouting programs will continue throughout this process and for many years to come,” the BSA said.
Bankruptcy Impact on Scouting Abuse Victims
Scouting abuse survivors fear that the bankruptcy filing could prevent them from naming abusers in court. By filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will set a window for the filing of claims. But this window could be the last chance for Scouting abuse victims to seek justice and could be as short as four months.
“They’re going into bankruptcy not because they don’t have the money,” said Tim Kosnoff to USA Today reporters. Kosnoff, a lawyer with the legal movement Abused in Scouting (AIS), has tried thousands of child sex abuse cases, many of those cases going up against the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church. “They’re going into bankruptcy to hide ... a Mount Everest in dirty secrets.”
AIS, a movement of lawyers from across the U.S., represents over 1,750 men nationwide. Each of these men allege they were sexually abused by a BSA scoutmaster, scout leader, or other person that the BSA entrusted to protect and keep boys safe. The ages of men who have joined with AIS range from 8 to 91 years old and span over all 50 states.
In an official statement, Abused in Scouting responded to the BSA’s bankruptcy filing, saying that the filing may give survivors a chance to hold the youth organization accountable for decades of allegations of sexual abuse cover-ups, but their time is limited.
“We hope that BSA will take the opportunity, in addition to providing compensation to past victims of sex abuse, to take the significant steps that are necessary both to ‘come clean,’ provide all stakeholders and law enforcement all of the information in their files about past and current abusers, and to reform BSA programs to guarantee the safety of all current and future scouts,” Abused in Scouting said in a press statement.
Were You Abused in Scouting? Come Forward Now!
If you were abused as a member of the Boy Scouts, your time to act is quickly running out. Bankruptcy filings allow for a limited window to take action. ACT NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
Contact the legal professionals with Abused in Scouting today find out if you may be eligible to file a claim against the Boy Scouts of America for abuse. Time is of the essence, so call us today. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations and always have a live representative standing by to answer your questions or concerns. Call 1.888.99.SCOUT today.