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A Delaware Bankruptcy judge has temporarily halted all sexual abuse lawsuits against local Boy Scout Councils until mid-May, while the organization works to develop a bankruptcy plan and compensation fund.
According to a report published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the court approved a request by the Boy Scouts of America to halt all filings against its local, satellite Boy Scout Councils until at least May 18.
In February, the Boy Scouts’ central organization filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, under the weight of hundreds of sexual abuse claims filed in recent months, which allege that the organization covered up widespread problems involving known perpetrators affiliated with the Boy Scouts for decides. At the same time, a Boy Scouts abuse compensation fund was established for victims.
However, the bankruptcy filing and the offer of a Boy Scouts sexual abuse settlement program has not stopped plaintiffs nationwide from filing additional lawsuits against the organization, particularly in states where the statute of limitation laws have recently been extended to allow claims to be brought decades after the abuse occurred. Those laws and the subsequent lawsuits filed were cited as a primary reason the Boy Scouts declared bankruptcy.
Hundreds of lawsuits, involving thousands of plaintiffs, have already been brought nationwide over the last year alone, alleging that Boy Scouts of America buried information about known threats to children by keeping secret “perversion files” on those considered to be sexual predators who had worked with the organization.
Plaintiffs maintain that those files were maintained at the Boy Scouts national headquarters in New Jersey for some time, indicating that between 1944 and 2016, there were 7,819 perpetrators nationwide who were either troop leaders or volunteers, believed to have abused at least 12,254 victims.
The Bankruptcy Judge ruling prevents lawsuits from being filed against the local councils for 55 days. The consent order was agreed upon by the Boy Scouts, and representatives of abuse victims and unsecured creditors.