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Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy: Can I File a Claim?

No Matter How Long Ago the Abuse Happened, You Could Still Have a Claim

If you or a loved one is a survivor of Boy Scout sexual abuse, you may have a claim against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)—and the deadline to file is approaching fast.

Hundreds of abuse survivors have already filed Boy Scout sex abuse claims in state and federal courts across the U.S. Join them in the fight for justice before it’s too late

To get free, confidential answers about your rights and a potential Boy Scout sex abuse case, contact the Amaro Law Firm today. Our Boy Scout sexual abuse lawyers can help you file your claim and join this historic settlement so you can get the justice and recovery you may deserve.

Call (713) 352-7975 or Email Us
For a Free, Confidential Consultation 

The Deadline to File a Boy Scout Sex Abuse Case is Nov. 16th

You don’t have to suffer in silence or shame over past abuse, and you are not alone. We are here to answer your questions, offer support, and provide exceptional counsel in Boy Scout sexual abuse claims.

How Do Boy Scout Sex Abuse Claims Work?

Sex abuse claims filed against the BSA are (or will become) part of the organization’s ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy case (Case No. 20-10343).

This case was filed on February 18, 2020, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. It was filed largely in response to the growing number of Boy Scout sexual abuse cases mounting against the organization. In fact, the BSA has claimed that, from 2017 through 2019 alone, it paid more than $150 million in legal fees and settlements to survivors.

With the bankruptcy case rolling along, the BSA has issued this official notice regarding new and pending Boy Scout sexual abuse claims. For survivors who have already filed a claim or who are preparing to file, it’s important to understand that:

  • Claims will become part of the BSA’s unsecured debts: Boy Scout sex abuse claims make up most of the organization’s unsecured debts. More than 10,000 claims are expected to join this case by the Nov. 16th deadline.
  • Settlements will be paid from a fund set up as part of the bankruptcy case: The fund is known as the Victims Compensation Trust. Its holdings are unclear at this time, as the BSA and lawyers are still battling over which assets should be included in the settlement. Specifically, the BSA is fighting to have the assets that are held by local councils excluded from the settlement.

Once the deadline for filing Boy Scout sex abuse claims has passed, the complicated work of evaluating claims and structuring the settlement will begin. Consequently, it could take months or more before survivors receive a settlement from the Victims Compensation Trust, despite the impending deadline.

Can I File a Boy Scout Sex Abuse Claim Against a Local Council?

The unique aspects of your potential claim can impact whether you may have a case against a local council and/or the national organization. While you can get a specific answer by contacting the Amaro Law Firm for a free consultation, here’s what you need to know about Boy Scout sex abuse claims in relation to local councils:

  • The Nov. 16th deadline does not currently apply to claims against local councils: It only applies to claims against the national organization. In states that have passed laws extending the “look back” window for sexual abuse survivors, there may be more time to file a claim against the BSA.
  • The BSA is fighting to shield local councils from future sex abuse claims: The BSA’s reorganization plan under its Chapter 11 case is pushing for local councils to be “Protected Parties,” which would allow them to avoid liability for sexual abuse claims filed against the national organization. The court has yet to rule on this plan, so it’s not clear whether filing a claim against the BSA would bar future claims against a local council.
  • Local councils are distinct legal entities: The BSA effectively has a franchise relationship with its local councils. According to survivors’ attorneys, this relationship should not create a liability shield for future sex abuse claims against local councils.
  • Local councils hold significant assets by design: Tax and court filings show that the 266 local councils across the U.S. hold the vast majority of the BSA’s assets. The councils in New York alone were discovered to own about $101 million in property, according to a USA Today investigation. The strategy here, say survivors’ attorneys, is to try to exclude the councils’ assets from the Victims Compensation Trust while barring future claims against those councils after (and the outside of) the BSA bankruptcy case.

Are Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Claims Confidential?

Yes. You can file a claim against the national organization without fear that your name or story will be made public. The only parties authorized to see the details of BSA sex abuse bankruptcy claims will be the court authorities and lawyers involved.

Are Boy Scout Sex Abuse Claims the Same as a Lawsuit?

No, BSA sex abuse bankruptcy claims are not the same as filing a lawsuit. Lawsuits against the organization will play out in civil court, outside of the bankruptcy proceedings. Some other differences between Boy Scout sex abuse claims and lawsuits include that:

  • Claims are reviewed by those managing the trust (the Trustees). Lawsuits are resolved in court or via out-of-court negotiations, completely separate from the BSA bankruptcy case.
  • Approved claims will be compensated from the Trust, according to the rules of the Trust. With successful lawsuits, compensation can come in the form of court awards or settlements, which are determined by juries or the litigating parties themselves.
  • Claims will pull compensation from a limited pool of assets held by the Trust. Compensation from lawsuits, however, is not limited to (or associated with) the Trust’s funds.

Here, it’s also crucial to note that: 

  • Survivors can have multiple options for filing claims: Even one incident of sexual abuse offer the options to file a claim against the BSA and a lawsuit against another party.
  • Filing a claim against the BSA could impact your rights to file other claims in the future: In fact, the BSA is asking the court to bar survivors who have filed claims against the national organization from suing local councils in the future.

In light of these facts, survivors should speak to an attorney before taking any action to file a claim. One meeting with an experienced lawyer can be the key to effectively protecting your rights and claim(s) in the pursuit of justice and compensation.

Find Out More About a Potential Claim: Contact a Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Lawyer Now

A Boy Scout sex abuse lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to listen, explain your legal options, and help you get on the path to justice and financial recovery. Whether you or a loved one has survived abuse at the hands of another scout, a troop leader, a volunteer, or anyone else affiliated with the BSA, find out more about a potential claim now, before it’s too late.

Call (713) 352-7975 or Email Us

For a Free, Confidential Consultation

At the Amaro Law Firm, we know nothing can reverse the harm caused by child sexual abuse. We also know that these claims and financial recoveries can help victims focus on healing and gain some justice.