Could Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Boy Scouts Of America Bankrupt The Organization?
Boy Scouts of America (BSA) faces an incoming wave of child sex abuse lawsuits and observers wonder if the organization may be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result. BSA is already facing approximately 200 lawsuits for sexual abuse and some insurers are refusing to cover litigation and liability costs.
Boy Scouts Of America may be forced to sell or liquidate assets in order to pay abuse victims, if the organization does not file for bankruptcy protection. BSA Chief Scout Executive, Michael Surbaugh, acknowledged in December 2018 that all options were being explored by the organization, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This creates an urgency for Boy Scout abuse victims to immediately file lawsuits, since a temporary hold may be placed on the filing of additional lawsuits in the event of bankruptcy.
Several states are now in the progress of extending sexual abuse victims’ statute of limitations, which aids plaintiffs in their ability to file a sexual abuse suit even where the abuse occurred years or decades ago. A statute extension in the state of New York takes effect in August 2019. California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania also have statute extension bills progressing through their legislatures as of May 2019.
BSA has even faced financial difficulties when statutes expire. Some victims in the past who have run into statute of limitations issues regarding their sexual abuse claims have been allowed to sue BSA for fraud, since BSA’s own records show that they had knowledge of and deliberately covered up the problem of child sex abuse in BSA. These records have become known as “The Perversion Files.”
“The Perversion Files” are a collection of BSA files which contain the names of over 7,800 BSA volunteers accused of child sex abuse, as well as the names of over 12,000 victims. The files contain evidence that local BSA officials’ pressure led to alleged pedophiles being allowed to continue to serve BSA after allegations against them were known by BSA.
The files even include a letter from a BSA executive which states, “This subject and Scouts were not prosecuted to save the name of Scouting.” The letter concerned a scoutmaster who confessed to the sexual abuse of three children and who ultimately was charged with no crime.
The files also contain an August 1972 memo from another BSA executive referencing a different case, which states, “I would like to let this case drop…one father has threatened legal action which could only injure the Boy Scouts of America. My personal opinion in this particular case is, ‘If it don’t stink, don’t stir it.’”
The Boy Scout Abuse Lawsuit Attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen continue to actively investigate and pursue sexual abuse claims on behalf of Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts who were molested, raped or sexually abused by a BSA volunteer or scoutmaster. We offer a free and confidential consultation, and there is the option to file anonymously.
Call 1-800-718-4658 now if you or a loved one was abused by a Boy Scouts Of America volunteer or scoutmaster. Our legal teams handle abuse claims nationwide.