In 2010, Mr. Kerry Lewis of Portland, Oregon, sued the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for sexual abuse that happened from his scout leader in the 1980s. He was awarded $1.9 million in compensation and punitive damages for his case. His lawsuit led to the revelation that the Boy Scouts of America allegedly covered up thousands of other sexual abuse instances and sexual predators as far back as 1944. BSA denied that there was any formal attempt to hide these sexual abuse allegations, but it was discovered that they had these files stored in its Texas headquarters. In 2012, they were forced by the court to release some of these hidden files, from which their knowledge of these thousands of cases came to light that they had done nothing about. The evidence shows that the BSA was much more concerned with their reputation and financial security than they were with the safety of the children in their care.
The scrutiny of the Boy Scouts of America is very warranted and their actions are absolutely unacceptable. We want to hold them accountable by helping parents like you get compensation for your child if they have been a victim of sexual abuse when they were part of the Boy Scouts of America.
If you've just found out that your child was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the Boy Scouts of America, you likely have many questions. We want to answer those as much as we can here.
Why You Should File a Lawsuit Now
Because of mounting legal costs as a result of an increased amount of sexual abuse survivors coming forward and filing lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and set up a victim's compensation fund. Due to the statute of limitations decided upon by each state when it comes to sexual abuse cases, it's important to talk to a sexual abuse lawyer right away to ensure that you can receive compensation for yourself or your child before the statute of limitations runs out.
When the Boy Scouts of America filed for "reorganization" under Chapter 11, the bankruptcy court set a deadline for all claims to be filed by November 16th, 2020. This means that if you or your child have been sexually abused by Boy Scouts of America staff members or volunteers, you have until November 16th, 2020 to file your claim. Anything filed after that date will be rejected.
Since February 2020, over 2,000 cases have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America for alleged sexual abuse.
Who is Eligible to File a Claim against the Boy Scouts of America
Anyone who has been sexually abused by a Boy Scouts of America staff member or volunteer is eligible to file a claim. It's especially encouraged if you:
- Called the Scouts First Helpline to report a case of abuse at any point in time
- Were sexually abused but have never filed a lawsuit, entered into a settlement with, or reported your abuse to the Boy Scouts of America
- Were a victim of sexual abuse during your time in the Boy Scouts of America and your claim would normally have been barred due to your state's statutes of limitations
- Are the parent of a child who was a victim of sexual abuse during their time in the Boy Scouts of America
Is There Proof Scout Leaders Were Sexual Predators?
The Boy Scouts of America was court-ordered to release confidential files of "ineligible volunteers" (aka reported sexual predators) in 2010 that contained the names of 7,819 alleged abusers and the names of 12,254 young victims. Although they were only the names reported covering the abusers and the abused from 1965 to 1985, it's obvious that the BSA has had more than just these cases before and after those dates. Whether or not your abuser or your child's abuser's name was in these files, you may still be able to receive compensation.
Hundreds of lawsuits and over 1,400 pending legal actions are against BSA right now. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits have accused the Boy Scouts of America of the following:
- Concealing the identities of sexual predators in a coverup that lasted for decades
- Sexual abuse at the hand of scout leaders, scoutmasters, or other BSA staff or volunteers
Can My Lawsuit Against the Boy Scouts of America be Kept Confidential?
Yes! Whether you or your child are the survivors of sexual abuse, you have the right to keep your identity private. Just be sure to request that your case be kept confidential when you report it to law enforcement.
As your lawyers, we'll ensure you remain anonymous and keep your name off of public records if that's what you want us to do. This will keep you from prying news agencies that could use your story.
For the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy proceedings specifically, claims made under it are not made available to the general public.
Why You Want a Lawyer to File Your BSA Sexual Abuse Claim
You can actually download the necessary forms and other paperwork to submit your claim on your own. However, this is exactly what BSA lawyers and their insurance carriers want you to do because "it's that easy." The reality is that they get away with giving you a much smaller amount of money than you're eligible for because you don't have a lawyer fighting for the compensation you truly deserve. You don't know what you don't know, but sexual abuse lawyers at Cooney and Conway DO know. We'll fight for every penny you deserve.
How Cooney and Conway Sexual Abuse Lawyers Can Help You
Our sexual abuse lawyers and legal team can help advocate for you and help you recover compensation for any losses that you or your child endured as a result of being a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of the Boy Scouts of America. We will hold them accountable for the unspeakable acts that were committed and the ways in which they failed to protect you or your child.
Take advantage of our free consultation to get started on your journey to bring justice and hold the Boy Scouts of America accountable.