The rumors are circulating again that the Boy Scouts of America is considering filing Chapter 11 as the number of lawsuits against the organization grows. The organization is facing escalating legal costs related to allegations that the organization was negligent in handling allegations of child molestation and sexual abuse by Scout leaders. Many people believe that the organization may turn to Chapter 11, as PG&E has done in California, to avoid paying large settlements to victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse.
How Would Chapter 11 Impact Current and Future Lawsuits Against the Boy Scouts of America?
If the organization files a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy filing will stay all current litigation regarding sexual abuse by Scout leaders. The organization would continue to operate, but all lawsuits against it would be handled through the bankruptcy filing.
One reason for the bankruptcy filing could be the pending litigation against the insurance providers for the Boy Scouts. Some insurance providers refused to cover sexual abuse claims alleging that the organization was negligent in taking precautionary action. The Boy Scouts of America filed a lawsuit against several insurance companies regarding the coverage, which is still pending. If the organization loses its battle against the insurance companies, it could have no other choice but to file Chapter 11 to protect its assets from civil claims.
Bankruptcy rules for settling lawsuits and paying claims are different from the rules in other courts. Victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse would have a very short time to file claims in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. If they fail to file their claims in the bankruptcy case, their claims could be barred forever.
Also, in a Chapter 11 case, abuse victims could receive much less compensation than they would receive in a civil lawsuit. The decision of the bankruptcy court will be binding on all victims of sexual abuse for allegations existing before the filing of the bankruptcy case. A Chapter 11 case could severely limit what some victims receive for the years of sexual abuse at the hands of Scout leaders.
What Should You Do If You or Your Child is the Victim of Boy Scout Sexual Abuse?
Do not wait to file your claim against the Boy Scouts of America. It is crucial that you act now to hold Scout leaders and the organization as a whole accountable for wrongdoing and negligence. In addition to seeking justice for yourself, you are also bringing to light the abuse by trusted leaders, which could prevent another child from being the victim of sexual abuse by a Boy Scout leader.
Thousands of cases of sexual abuse by Boy Scout leaders have come to light because of cases filed throughout the country. Secret files released by the Boy Scouts of America include ineligible volunteer files or perversion files date back as far as 1965. The organization has already acknowledged that it “failed to defend Scouts” in some instances from people who wanted to harm them.
In recent months, even more information has come to light that revealed sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts was more widespread than previously known. Some allegations date back to the 1940s and point to the fact that the organization knew about the allegations but did nothing to protect boys from sexual abuse. One report found that more than 7,800 Scout leaders allegedly abused more than 12,000 boys. Sadly, that number could continue to increase as new victims come forward to share their personal stories of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts.
California Expands Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse Claims
Under the new statute of limitations for childhood sexual assault claims, a person has until they are 40 years of age or within five years of discovery of the abuse to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser and other liable parties. The extension of the deadline to file claims for childhood sexual abuse claims gives Boy Scouts who were molested or sexually abused as minors more time to come forward and file claims against their abusers and the Boy Scouts of America.
Additionally, the new law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom suspends the statute of limitations for three years to allow victims of any age to file claims. The suspension of the statute of limitations begins January 1, 2020. The three-year window and the new statute of limitations could result in thousands of victims coming forward now that their claims are no longer barred by law.
Childhood Sexual Abuse Has Long-Term Consequences
The organization that parents trusted to provide a safe environment for their sons turned its back on them and left them as prey to sexual predators. Because of its actions, the organization created an environment where young boys were victimized.
The stories told by men who are victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse are heartbreaking. In many cases, the brave men coming forward have dealt with a lifetime of grief, pain, and debilitating conditions because of the sexual abuse and wrongdoing of Scout leaders. Many victims of childhood sexual abuse suffer extreme depression, PTSD, and anxiety. They are at an increased risk of addiction and suicide because of the abuse. They deserve justice. They deserve to be heard and compensated for their damages and losses.
The Lawyers of The Thompson Law Office Are Fighting for Justice for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
If you or your child is the victim of childhood sexual abuse, we want to help. Our California childhood sexual abuse lawyers are accepting cases involving the Boy Scouts of America, the Roman Catholic Church, and other organizations throughout California. Our legal team is actively investigating these allegations and seeking compensation for survivors of childhood sexual assault in California.
Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a California sexual assault lawyer by calling 1-650-513-6111.
Your consultation is confidential and you are under no obligation to retain our law firm or proceed with any actions after meeting with our attorney. It is our goal to provide answers, guidance, and information so that you can decide what is best for you and your family.