The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) sex abuse case is among the most prominent of recent sex abuse lawsuits, according to Reuters. Several former scout members are suing the Boy Scouts for alleged sexual abuse and for the organization’s failure in protecting them from these abusers.
If you or someone you know was affected by sexual abuse while a scout member, you might be entitled to financial recovery and justice. You should know that there is a limited time to sue the Boy Scouts. Any legal action that is filed after the statute of limitations has passed will likely be dismissed.
Several Alleged Abusers, Even More Victims
Public attention was drawn to the BSA after a landmark court case in Oregon in 2010. A former scout member, Kerry Lewis, and five other plaintiffs took the Boy Scouts to court for alleged sexual abuse. The court found in favor of the plaintiffs, according to CBS News.
The case also started a deluge of information from within the BSA organization. Although the BSA denied covering up alleged sexual abuse, authorities confiscated files marked “ineligible volunteers.” These files contained the names of more than 12,000 sexual abuse victims and their alleged abusers, according to The Washington Post.
Why Survivors are Suing Now
Some victims of childhood sexual abuse know their attackers. That is why victims may not report the abuse. If their attacker is also an authority figure, such as a scout leader, some victims fear that their stories will not be believed. There was also not as much awareness about the lifelong effects of childhood abuse decades ago as there is today.
Survivors are coming forward now as more information about the Boy Scouts of America is coming to light. They know that they are not alone and that the abuse was not their fault. Still, some of these survivors have suffered for years from physical and emotional injuries brought on by their abuse.
Plaintiffs Allege the Boy Scouts Failed to Protect Them
As an organization, the Boy Scouts of America have an obligation to its members. Scout members have the right to a safe environment without violence or abuse. Thousands of former scout members allege that the BSA failed in this obligation.
Several lawsuits from former members across the country are springing up as time goes by. One lawsuit in New Jersey includes a pool of 150 plaintiffs, according to the Associated Press.
Time is Running Out for Legal Action
Several former scout members are suing the Boy Scouts. The BSA established a fund to pay damages and legal fees; however, the time for filing a lawsuit is finite. The bankruptcy court will probably impose a statute of limitations.
If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse while a member of the BSA, you deserve to know your legal options.
Compensatory Damages for Sexual Abuse Survivors
You may be entitled to recover damages for your physical and emotional injuries brought on by sexual abuse. A law firm that accepts these kinds of cases can help you through this process.
Some of the damages that may be involved with a sexual abuse lawsuit include:
- Medical costs for mental health counseling and therapy
- Lost pay or diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
Each sexual abuse case is unique. You may have additional or slightly different damages that are not listed above. A personal injury lawyer who understands the tremendous injury and loss associated with a sexual abuse case can valuate your damages.
Boy Scouts File for Bankruptcy Under Weight of Many Lawsuits
The Boy Scouts of America is listed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The BSA funds its numerous youth programs through private donations, membership fees, fundraising, and some foundation grants.
As media and legal attention shone a spotlight on the BSA’s dark past, donors and members began to break away. The loss of this revenue, combined with the likelihood of more lawsuits, forced the BSA to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Major Insurance Company Reaches $650 Million Deal with BSA
The Hartford, a major insurance company who provided liability insurance for the Boy Scouts of America, has reached a settlement agreement with the beleaguered organization following years of legal wrangling. The insurance company agreed to pay $650 million (pre-tax) for sexual abuse claims against the BSA for Hartford insurance policies. Many of these policies were issued in the 1970s.
In exchange for this settlement, the Hartford is requesting that the BSA and their local councils release the insurance company from future obligations issued in more recent policies. The company hopes to have court approval for the settlement and release by the third quarter of 2021.
Adverse Health Effects on Sexual Abuse Victims
According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, children who suffer sexual abuse are more likely to have the following health conditions:
- Problems with relationships and sexual intimacy
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
Some victims struggle financially because they have a hard time staying employed. This financial hardship may put mental health care and counseling out of reach for many sexual abuse victims.
Contact Us For a Free Case Evaluation
We understand that talking about sexual abuse is a painful process. Our team is here for you with compassionate and responsive client service. Some sexual assault survivors feel empowered by taking legal action. You may also encourage others to step forward and hold their attackers responsible.
For a free case evaluation with a member of our firm, call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600.