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To pursue financial compensation from the Boy Scouts of America, individuals who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse face a potential deadline of November 16 to present their claims as part of the pending bankruptcy proceedings.
In February, the Boy Scouts’ central organization filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, as it faced a growing number of lawsuits brought by individuals who were sexually abused or molested by former volunteers or employees.
According to allegations raised in the complaints, Boy Scouts of America has covered up incidents of abuse involving known perpetrators for decades, leading to the organization to establish a compensation fund for victims.
The bankruptcy proceedings and offer to participate in 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.
Several media reports indicate that on Tuesday, attorneys for the Boy Scouts and plaintiffs set a cutoff date of November 16 for new claims to be filed in the Delaware Bankruptcy court. Following that date, individuals may be barred from pursuing compensation for sex abuse from Boy Scouts of America.
Originally, plaintiffs wanted the cutoff date set for late December, while the Boy Scouts sought an early October date. The two parties agreed on the November date as a compromise. However, the deadline does not impact lawsuits filed against local chapters of the Boy Scouts, only claims against the national organization.
Boy Scout “Perversion” Files
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 say those files indicate that between 1944 and 2016, there were 7,819 perpetrators who were either troop leaders or volunteers, believed to have abused at least 12,254 victims.
The Boy Scouts has confirmed the existence of the files, indicating they were used to ensure the group never knowingly allowed a sexual predator access to youths in its organization.
Those seeking to participate in the compensation program can call 1-866-907-BSA1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.