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Boy Scouts Lawsuits Deadline Approaches

(September 17, 2020) – A deadline for filing lawsuits against Boy Scouts USA for sex abuse fast approaches. Nov. 16, 2020 is the deadline set for filing a new case against BSA.

Boy Scouts abuse survivors who fail to file by Nov. 16, just a month from now, will likely forfeit their rights to sue the organization for abuse.

BSA Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Process

Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy this past Spring because it was facing thousands of lawsuits. The organization’s plan was to minimize its liability and remain solvent by filing for bankruptcy. The more than 100-year-old BSA anticipated that thousands of former scouts would file sex abuse claims.

As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, BSA — headquartered in Irving, Texas — has set monies aside in a Victims Compensation Trust for survivors who had participated in BSA programs.

State Court Filings

Lawyers for abuse survivors have already filed several thousand lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America. Cases include state court filings in Montana, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California. In addition to state court filings, a unique lawsuit against BSA was filed this year in federal court in Washington D.C.

BSA Perversion Files Revealed

Many BSA lawsuits followed a Los Angeles Times’ publication in 2012 of internal Scout records. They involved some 5,000 men on a blacklist known as the “perversion files.” These secret files hidden by BSA for decades gave details of sexual abuse allegations against troop leaders.

One case tried in a Portland courtroom in 2010 used some 1,200 pages of the perversion files to win a $19.9-million verdict against the Scouts on behalf of a man who was sexually abused as a boy in the 1980s.

That trial showed the public for the first time that the BSA had its huge knowledge base of sexual abuse which the organization kept hidden, failing to  inform law enforcement, or BSA scouts or their parents. The Times’ release of those files gave people a chance to search online for information regarding BSA pedophiles.

In a yearlong examination of the files, The L.A. Times documented hundreds of cases in which the Boy Scouts not only failed to report sex abuse accusations to authorities, but also hid the abuse allegations from parents and the public. Meanwhile, for damage control behind the scenes, the organization quietly urged abusers to resign, then helped cover the perps’ tracks by listing phony reasons for their abrupt departures.

Accusers cited the files — formally known for decades as the “ineligible volunteer files” and now called the Volunteer Screening Database — as evidence the organization knew of pedophiles in its ranks but failed to protect children. That evidence and more has driven the Boy Scouts to declare bankruptcy to protect some of its assets while the organ ization issues apologies for failing to protect scouts from abusers.

Boy Scouts of America 18th Largest Nonprofit  

According to court filings, The Boy Scouts of America is the 18th largest nonprofit in the United States. Its revenue exceeds $780 million annually. BSA includes more than two million active scouts and a million volunteers.

Boy Scouts Statement  

The Boy Scouts said in a statement: “We care deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward.”

That statement rings painfully hollow for many survivors. As children they took to heart the Boy Scout oath “[T]o help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

The Boy Scouts’ duplicitous bankruptcy, which threatens survivors’ chances at compensation, makes that statement tragically sad and dishonest. And the Boy Scouts’ own perversion files and the organization’s behavior in hiding or failing to control vicious pedophiles in its ranks makes a mockery of “morally straight.”

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