Boy Scouts Childhood Abuse Claim Deadline Approaching Nov. 16
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse by Boy Scout leaders and volunteers only have until November 16 to present claims against the organization, under an order by the bankruptcy court presiding over the distribution of assets among those alleging that inadequate steps were taken for decades to protect children from sexual predators.
In February, the Boy Scouts’ central organization filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, under the weight of hundreds of sexual abuse claims alleging the organization covered up widespread problems involving known perpetrators affiliated with the Boy Scouts for decides.
A Boy Scouts abuse compensation fund will be established for claims, but individuals who were molested years or decades ago only have a limited amount of time to present their claims.
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This week, under the supervision of the bankruptcy judge, the Boy Scouts of America launched a national advertising campaign, which is intended to inform victims of sexual abuse conducted by members of the organization that they only have until November 16 to apply for compensation from the fund.
The advertising campaign will cost the organization nearly $7 million, and will run in newspapers, on television, radio and online in English and Spanish through October 17. In the ads, the Boy Scouts of America admit abuses and failures to protect children occurred, which some say is the first time the organization has admitted guilt publicly.
In addition to the official ads, a number of sexual abuse lawyers have also launched large campaigns to notify potential victims that they have the potential for restitution. The Boy Scouts asked the bankruptcy judge to curb those ads, but the judge refused, saying the organizations’ request was too broad.
Law firms taking on plaintiffs who allege they suffered abuse by Scout Masters and others say they anticipate more than 20,000 claims will be filed by the deadline in November.
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 kept 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.
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