Boy Scouts of America Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
The Boy Scouts of America is one of America’s largest youth organizations. It advertised itself as a values-based organization where boys could learn skills and make friends. Instead, sexual abuse was the norm and considered a rite of passage in thousands of Boy Scout troops.
Were you the victim of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts? You may have a sex abuse case against your local Boy Scouts council and abuser to seek financial damages. Rosen Injury Lawyers represents abuse victims nationwide in seeking justice.
How Rosen Injury Lawyers Can Help with Boy Scouts of America Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
For decades, parents have signed their children up for Boy Scouts thinking they were providing them with a positive experience. Instead, tens of thousands of children faced sexual abuse from scout leaders and members. If you are ready to come forward as a survivor of sexual abuse, a child sex abuse lawyer can help you.
Rosen Injury Lawyers has more than 75 years of combined experience taking on institutions for widespread abuse. Our award-winning personal injury law firm focuses entirely on mass tort cases involving many victims harmed by the same organization or company. We know what it takes to build a strong case.
We represent survivors nationwide; you can count on us to:
- Offer dependable legal guidance and support
- Investigate your abuse to gather evidence and identify who can be held accountable
- Work with experts to strengthen your case with expert testimony
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement
We are here to help you when you’re ready to come forward and hold your Boy Scouts council and abuser accountable for what they have done. Call our law office today for a free case review to discuss what we can do for you.
Overview of Sexual Abuse in the Boy Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America has been one of America’s largest youth organizations for over a century. However, it has long hidden that it has a widespread and historical problem with pedophilia. The BSA’s youth programs, which long included camping and other excursions, have attracted child sexual abusers across the country. Children were often left under the care of male adults with little or no oversight.
In a 2010 sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts of America in Oregon, it was revealed that the organization kept secret files of people ineligible to be volunteers. The records, commonly known among BSA officials as the “perversion files,” were released in 2021.
The reports revealed the BSA had kept secret files detailing sex abuse allegations within the organization since the 1960s. The documents contained internal reports of molestation by over 1,200 scoutmasters and volunteers.
Over 7,800 people were deemed ineligible to volunteer. The documents contained cases in several categories: Leadership, Financial, Morals, Theft, Criminal, and Perversion. The largest category was Perversion.
The Boy Scouts identified thousands of leaders over the course of 72 years that committed child sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts.
In 2021, the Los Angeles Times published a list of nearly 5,000 people expelled from the BSA between 1947 and 2005 due to allegations of child abuse.
Volunteers and scoutmasters that were outed from the Boy Scouts were never reported to law enforcement or families. Instead, details were kept internal.
How Many Boys Were Abused in Scouting?
In 2020, the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy on the eve of its 110th anniversary. Tens of thousands of child sex abuse claims were submitted in the days leading up to a November bankruptcy deadline for compensation from a victims’ fund.
The scope of the Boy Scouts of America sexual abuse scandal “dwarfs what happened in the Catholic Church,” as one abuse victim’s attorney put it.
About 92,700 claims for child sex abuse were ultimately made against the BSA ahead of the bankruptcy deadline for damages. The BSA, which filed for bankruptcy after hundreds of lawsuits were filed, was only expecting about 12,000 men and boys to come forward.
What is My Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Case Worth?
The value of your sex abuse case depends on many factors, such as:
- Your age at the time of the abuse
- The severity of the abuse
- How long the abuse happened
- The physical and psychological harm you suffered
- Whether your abuse was covered up
The best way to determine how much your child sexual abuse case is worth is through a free consultation. Call Rosen Injury Lawyers for a free case review with a Boy Scouts sex abuse lawyer today.
What Damages Can Victims of Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Recover?
If your civil lawsuit is successful, you are entitled to recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you suffered.
This may include financial compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including future counseling and other bills
- Lost earnings and diminished earning capacity
- Non-economic losses like distress, anguish, pain and suffering, and reduced enjoyment of life
In California, new sex abuse laws allow victims to seek treble damages if they can prove their abuse was covered up. However, victims in other states may still seek punitive damages. These damages do not compensate for your losses. Instead, they punish the defendant for egregious wrongdoing.
Can I Still Sue Now that the Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Deadline for Sex Abuse Claims Has Passed?
The Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy in February 2020. Their Chapter 11 bankruptcy came as they faced the mounting strain of sex abuse claims. The hundreds of lawsuits against the BSA were frozen to fold them into a single settlement.
The bankruptcy set up a victims’ compensation fund. The bankruptcy judge set a November 16, 2020, deadline for victims to file sex abuse claims with the court. This deadline gave victims a final chance to come forward with an abuse claim or be barred from bringing a claim later.
Because this deadline has passed, survivors of sexual abuse can no longer sue the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts of America will emerge from bankruptcy, restructured, and no longer subject to sexual abuse claims.
However, victims may still be able to pursue a case against their local Boy Scout councils. These cases do face a major weakness. Local councils can defend themselves from claims by blaming the Boy Scouts of America, their national organization.
If you are ready to come forward and hold the Boy Scouts accountable for sexual abuse you suffered, you may still have a case against your local council.
How Long Do I Have to File a Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
The Boy Scouts of America claims filed with the bankruptcy court in 2020 allowed victims to seek compensation from the victims’ fund. These claims did not require filing a lawsuit and were not subject to state statutes of limitations.
Now that the deadline has passed, victims of BSA sexual assault who did not file a claim may still file a lawsuit against their local Boy Scouts of America council. However, these cases are subject to the statute of limitations in the victim’s state.
How long you have to file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America – and whether you are eligible at all – depends on your state’s laws. If you are an adult abused as a child, your state may have a maximum age by which you must file your case.
Since 2018, many states have passed sex abuse laws that expand the statute of limitations. In other states, look-back windows are being opened that allow cases to be filed for a limited amount of time.
Depending on your state’s laws, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for sexual abuse that occurred decades ago. However, your deadline to file your case may be very limited. In some states, the look-back window is as short as one year.
In New Jersey, for instance, the look-back window closes on December 1, 2022. Many states have increased the maximum age at which you can file for childhood sexual abuse.
Because your time may be very limited to file your case, it’s crucial to contact a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you the victim of child sexual abuse in your Boy Scout troop? Rosen Injury Lawyers is committed to fighting for you to hold your local council and abuser responsible.
Contact our law office today for a free consultation to discuss Boy Scouts of America sexual abuse lawsuits and your legal options for seeking compensation.