If you are a former Boy Scout who experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a Scouting leader, you may be able to join thousands of other men in taking action against the organization. You may be able to hold the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) accountable for the emotional and physical suffering you endured. The men pursuing these cases are seeking financial recovery to help pay for counseling and other expenses related to healing from the abuse.
You can speak with a member of the D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ team for free today. Our team members are familiar with this case and can explain your rights and options based on the circumstances of the abuse you endured.
A Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ may be able to build a strong case to prove your abuse and help you seek recovery based on your injuries and losses. To learn more or get started with your free case evaluation today, call (713) 850-8600.
Our case consultations are always private and no-obligation. No one will ever know you considered taking action until you are ready to come forward and hold the Boy Scouts of America accountable.
What Is the Boy Scouts of America Sex Abuse Case?
Hundreds of former Scouts have filed civil suits against Boy Scouts of America for the sexual abuse they allege they endured as boys and teenagers, and almost 2,000 more victims have been identified. While many reported the abuse to local, regional, or national Scout leadership at the time, these reports rarely had any effect, and many of the abusers continued to volunteer for Boy Scouts of America.
In some cases, the volunteers were no longer allowed to work with Scouts in that pack or region, but may have volunteered in other areas or with other similar organizations. In effect, the men pursuing the case claim that the Boy Scouts of America organization failed them by:
- Failing to conduct adequate background checks and ruling out sexual predators
- Failing to notify authorities about reports of abuse or inappropriate behavior
- Failing to take action against volunteers when there were allegations of abuse
- Failing to protect the members of their organization from further sexual abuse
- Covering up the reports and allegations to protect the name of Boy Scouts of America over the wellbeing of the Scouts
There is no doubt that the Boy Scouts of America knew sexual abuse was widespread. According to reports from PBS NewsHour, the organization maintained a database of information about inappropriate behavior, reports of abuse, and other information on staff and volunteers. This secret, internal database was known as “the perversion files.”
Since the Boy Scouts of America sex abuse case began, the organization has released some parts of these files, thousands of pages of historical information that relate to reports spanning the 1940s through the 1980s. Attorneys representing some of the men who filed suit against the Boy Scouts want more recent files made available, as well.
Because of the breadth of these files, it is apparent that the Boy Scouts knew there was a wide-scale problem with sexual abuse and that some of their adult volunteers and staff were abusing boys and teens. Their lack of response to reports of rape, sexual assault, sodomy, and other sexual abuse was “grossly deficient,” according to the lawsuits filed against them.
If you believe you may qualify to file your own case against the Boy Scouts because you were a victim of sexual abuse, a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ may be able to build your case, gather evidence, and take action to hold the organization liable.
Can I File a Boy Scouts of America Sex Abuse Case?
You may be able to file a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawsuit if:
- You were a victim of sex abuse, including but not limited to sexual assault, rape, or other inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature
- You were in Boy Scouts when the abuse occurred, and the perpetrator was a staff member, volunteer, or another adult involved with BSA or your local council
- You suffered lasting emotional, mental, and/or financial injuries as a result of the abuse
You may be able to take action even if you did not file a report at the time the abuse occurred. In fact, some people filing BSA sex abuse lawsuits never told anyone else about the abuse until they came forward to take legal action.
Some of those who are filing Boy Scouts sex abuse lawsuits were victims of abuse during the 1970s, while others endured their abuse within the last 20 years. There are questions about the statute of limitations in some cases, but this should not stop survivors of abuse from taking action.
According to a report by NPR, some states are passing laws to extend the time survivors have to come forward and take civil action in this type of case. Others have case law that supports an extended tolling of the statute of limitations when the abuser or a related organization—such as the Catholic Church or Boy Scouts of America—conceals the abuse for decades.
For example, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in Rice v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown that the clock should not begin ticking on this type of case until the abuse becomes publicly known.
If you were abused by a volunteer or other BSA leader, you may want a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse attorney from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ on your side. We can represent your best interests and help you join other survivors to hold the Boy Scouts organization accountable. Call (713) 850-8600 to learn more.
Who Is Suing the Boy Scouts?
Men who endured abuse as Boy Scouts during their youth are filing suit and preparing cases against the Boy Scouts of America, and some are also taking action against their local BSA councils. According to ABC News, there were almost 300 lawsuits pending, and an additional 1,400 victims identified with claims forthcoming as of February 2020. It is still early in the process of filing these cases, so these numbers could increase dramatically.
Because of the number of boys involved in Scouting—110 million Americans have participated in at least one BSA program since its inception—and the number of cases reported in the Boy Scouts of America’s own files, it may be possible that BSA could face thousands of lawsuits.
While USA Today reports that Boy Scouts of America is trying to avoid claims against local councils, many local councils may have played a central role in allowing the abuse to occur or continue, and even cover up reports of abuse. The men suing BSA today all claim they suffered abuse from Scout staff or volunteers over the last several decades.
Despite touting strict policies related to “Youth Protection” and “Barriers to Abuse,” since the 1980s, the Boy Scouts of America may have to pay for their role in helping sexual predators victimize children and teens and hide their abuse.
If you want to know more about the BSA sexual abuse lawsuits or believe you may want to join others taking action, D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ is here to help. We have a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyer accepting these cases now. A member of our team familiar with this case can speak with you today at no cost to you. Our confidential consultations may help you understand your options better and give you more information that will help you decide if you are interested in taking legal action.
How Was the Sex Abuse Discovered?
It appears, based on the perversion files, that Boy Scouts of America managed to keep the scandal quiet for decades even while individual Scouts reported the abuse they endured. There is evidence that some local Boy Scout packs even worked with local officials to keep reports quiet or avoid naming the Boy Scouts as a party to the abuse.
However, following reports of this type of abuse in the Catholic Church and other organizations, and in light of the bravery victims have shown coming forward in these cases, former Scouts began stepping forward with their stories of abuse, as well.
According to a report in Time Magazine, many of the former Scouts who are taking legal action and speaking out now remained quiet for decades. They say they drew strength and inspiration from other sexual abuse victims who endured similar abuse, including:
- Victims of abuse in their church
- Victims of abuse by entertainers or those in the entertainment industry
- Victims of abuse in recreational sports leagues, NCAA sports, and other sports organizations
Because these victims spoke out, those who abused them may have been prosecuted, lost their jobs, prevented from having access to other young boys and teenagers, and faced other consequences. In addition, the survivors of their abuse may have pursued and secured financial recovery through civil action for the suffering they endured.
According to Time Magazine, the number of possible victims of sexual abuse identified through the Boy Scouts perversion files is staggering. An expert working for the organization analyzed the files collected between 1944 and 2016 and found:
- 12,254 possible victims of sexual abuse who reported their abuse
- 7,800 possible abusers affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America organization during that time period
To make matters worse, sex abuse is very commonly underreported. This may be especially true in the case of the Boy Scouts, where a respected organization often has volunteers who are influential and important members of the local community. If an abuser is well-known or holds a position of power in a local school, church, or business community, the accusation of a child is much more likely to be swept under the rug.
Alternatively, victims may also be intimidated or shamed by the abuser or others, which dissuades many young people from coming forward in the first days, months, and years following the abuse. In many cases, survivors of sex abuse only feel comfortable stepping forward decades later, and only after others have made similar accusations.
What Kind of Help Should Someone Who Has Suffered from Sexual Abuse Receive?
According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), survivors of sex abuse need counseling and therapy to process what happened to them and overcome the negative effects it may have on many aspects of their lives. When a child or teen experiences sexual abuse, including sexual abuse, they often develop long-term negative effects. Some examples of these negative effects may include:
- Substance abuse disorders
- Eating disorders
- Sexual dysfunction
- Relationship difficulties
- Low self-esteem
- Guilt and shame
- Dissociative disorders
Unless the survivor processes what happened to them and works to alleviate the negative effects, it could cause these and other emotional and mental health concerns for the rest of their life. This is true for many, if not most sexual abuse survivors, including those who experienced abuse while participating in Boy Scouts of America.
The help survivors need varies based on their age, the circumstances of their abuse, and the effects it has on their life. For example, young children do better with play therapy and individual counseling, while teens and adults may benefit from talk therapy. Some recommended treatments for adult survivors include:
- Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)
- Solution-focused therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
If you are a survivor of Boy Scouts sex abuse and you have not worked with a therapist who specializes in trauma therapy, you may want to identify a professional near you who can help. Because you will need to share a lot of very personal information with them, you will want to ensure you feel comfortable confiding in your therapist.
Not every therapist is a good fit for every survivor. However, if you find a good fit and do the work required, you may be able to stop or mitigate the negative effects your experience had on your life.
In some cases, group therapy may also be available for adult survivors of childhood sex abuse. This type of therapy may help you by providing understanding and acknowledgment that:
- You are not alone
- Many people endure this type of abuse as a child or teen
- The thoughts and feelings you have are normal
- You can heal from the abuse you suffered
- It may be possible to hold the abusers or others liable
If you are able to secure financial recovery in your case against Boy Scouts of America, the cost of your counseling and other mental health care needs may be included.
What Do I Do if I Know Someone Affected by the Boy Scouts Abuse Case?
If you or someone you know endured sex abuse or was otherwise victimized by a Boy Scouts leader during their youth, you may want to learn more about how to proceed with a case against Boy Scouts of America. Survivors of this abuse may be able to take legal action against BSA by joining the litigation already underway.
To learn if the circumstances surrounding your abuse may qualify you to file suit, you can speak with a member of the D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ team today for free. If the team believes you can join the pending lawsuits against the organization, and you decide you want to move forward with the case, a lawyer from our team will be assigned to handle the process and represent you throughout these proceedings.
A Boy Scouts of America sex abuse attorney may be able to help you in several ways:
- Protect your right to pursue a fair settlement or award
- Represent you in court or other interactions related to the case
- Document your related losses and put a fair value on your case
- Negotiate on your behalf, with your best interests in mind
- Fight to hold BSA accountable for the abuse you endured
If you or someone in your family may qualify to join the Boy Scouts of American sex abuse case, you can learn more about it by contacting D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600. We offer free case consultations to Boy Scouts of America sex abuse survivors and their family members. When you speak to a member of our team about your case, you can feel confident that the conversation is:
We understand how important confidentiality is to many survivors of sex abuse. Even if you have not yet decided if you want to file a case, our compassionate staff members will explain what taking legal action against BSA will entail if you do. Of course, there is no obligation, and if you do not come forward, no one will ever know that you spoke to our team.
If you do decide to pursue a Boy Scouts of America sexual abuse case, you may join thousands of other men in doing so. You are not alone, and your willingness to step forward may help other survivors come forward as well.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer to File a Lawsuit?
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, it does not cost survivors of Boy Scouts of America sex abuse or their families anything to discuss the circumstances of the abuse and the possibility of taking legal action against the organization with a member of our team. Our case consultations are always at no cost to potential clients. During this process, we may be able to answer additional questions you have about how much it costs to hire a lawyer.
In general, however, hiring a lawyer from our firm to pursue action in this case will cost you nothing up front. Our team is clear about the cost of your case from the start. Our agreement to represent you will state the percentage of your financial recovery we will receive, and our team can answer any questions about costs that are specific to your case before you sign.
We will not charge you a retainer or other upfront expense. Instead, this process works by our team paying all legal expenses while we gather evidence, prepare your case, and represent you in settlement negotiations or at trial. If we are successful in negotiating a settlement or receiving a court award if your case goes in front of a judge, then—and only then—will we take the agreed-upon percentage.
You do not have to worry about any of this because we will handle every step of the process. This includes:
- Drawing up the necessary paperwork and submitting it
- Receiving the deposit for your settlement or award
- Calculating the agreed-on percentage
- Cutting you a check for your financial recovery
- Delivering the payment to you
As you can see, it will not cost you anything out of pocket to work closely with a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™. Many people hesitate to discuss their case with a law firm because they do not believe they will have the money necessary to enlist legal help and have representation during litigation.
Instead, we work to ensure sex abuse survivors who have strong cases have a lawyer on their side during this time, and we take the risk of not getting paid to do so.
Speak with a Member of the D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Team About Your Possible BSA Sex Abuse Case Today
If you endured abuse while participating in Scouting activities as a child or teenager, you may be able to join thousands of other former scouts and sex abuse survivors in taking legal action against Boy Scouts of America for their role in allowing the abuse to occur and failing to protect young program participants from harm.
We offer free case consultations. You can speak with a member of the D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ team about your BSA sex abuse case today for free.
A Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ may be able to help you hold the organization accountable for their long history of abuse by collecting evidence and building a case based on your emotional pain and suffering, related expenses, and other losses. Our Boy Scouts of America sex abuse attorneys are helping abuse survivors build their cases right now.
More than a thousand former Scouts who endured abuse have already stepped forward. Now is the time to act if you want to participate in legal action to ensure BSA is held responsible to the fullest extent allowed under U.S. civil law.
To learn more or get started right away, call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ now at (713) 850-8600. Our consultations are always free and confidential.