A shocking string of lawsuits brought against the Boy Scouts of America has the organization facing serious consequences for not speaking out earlier, according to Reuters. You can file a sex abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) if you meet certain conditions.
These conditions include:
- You were a member in any of the BSA youth programs.
- You were the victim of sexual abuse or assault.
- You have not been already compensated for your damages in a prior lawsuit or settlement.
Even if the abuse took place many years ago, it may be possible to hold the BSA accountable for emotional suffering and subsequent financial losses.
Why Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Survivors Are Suing Now
Even though some of the alleged sexual abuse within the BSA organization goes back to the 1940s, survivors often carry the trauma of their assault their entire lives.
Recent events have helped survivors feel more comfortable about speaking out. There are several reasons why scout members who suffered sexual abuse are taking legal action years after it occurred.
Confidential Files Finally Forced Open
There have been whispered accounts of alleged sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America organization for years, but the proof did not begin to emerge until 2010.
In 2010, six former boy scouts successfully sued the BSA for alleged sexual abuse. This case paved the way for opening confidential files that revealed decades of alleged sexual abuse.
The public outcry over these files, combined with a successful lawsuit, prompted other sexual abuse survivors to speak out. To date, 275 lawsuits have been filed, according to USA Today. There are another 1,400 lawsuits pending.
More sexual abuse survivors are realizing that they are the victims of a horrific crime, and that is not unseemly to pursue financial recovery from the liable parties.
Some States Extending Statute of Limitations
Additionally, some states have begun to recognize that a brief statute of limitations can restrict a survivor’s legal right to hold wrongdoers accountable. A statute of limitations is a restriction set on how long a victim has to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect losses from an accident due to someone’s negligence.
New York State extended the statute of limitations through its Child Victims Act. Those who suffered sexual abuse as a member of the Boy Scouts of America may also have a new window of legal opportunity after the organization filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Boy Scouts of America Suffers Financially
The BSA is one of the oldest and largest youth organizations in the country. Founded in 1910, the organization is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Boy Scouts of America is funded by private donations, membership dues, fundraising, and foundation grants. Until recently, the BSA enjoyed lucrative partnerships with companies and institutions.
However, the BSA began to suffer financially after lawsuits revealed a dark history of alleged child abuse and a coordinated coverup that lasted for decades. According to National Public Radio (NPR), the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of 2020.
Court Will Likely Impose Deadline for Legal Action
Under the terms of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the BSA can continue operating but must develop a plan to repay its creditors. They also established a trust fund for legal action, compensatory damages, and other related expenses.
In addition to a required financial reparation plan, the bankruptcy court will likely issue a deadline for sexual abuse lawsuits. This statute of limitations may be more lenient than the deadline in your state. You may be able to pursue recovery for damages and other losses related to sexual abuse in the BSA organization.
We understand that talking about what happened to you is extremely difficult. You may be reticent to relive the trauma of sexual abuse. Some victims of sexual abuse find it empowering to finally hold their abuser liable.
What happened to you is not your fault. It does not matter when you were sexually abused; time may bring healing, but the parties who caused you suffering should not get away without repercussions.
We Are Here to Listen and Help
To find out if you can file a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse case, please call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ for a free case evaluation. A member of our team is ready to take your call. You can reach us at (713) 850-8600.