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.
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 (AP).
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.
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.
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.
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
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. For a free case evaluation with a member of our firm, call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600.