Earlier today, the United States Bankruptcy Court set November 16, 2020, as the final deadline for the filing of sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year to resolve all of the pending sexual abuse claims against the national organization.
Contrary to what you might think, a bankruptcy filing does not mean the Boy Scouts are broke: it means the Boy Scouts national organization is asking for the Bankruptcy Court for help resolving the rest of the sexual abuse claims against it. Its assets will be allocated among all of its creditors, including an unknown number of sexual abuse claimants, who are both known and unknown at this time.
It is also a means by which the Boy Scouts organization can continue to protect itself and its secrets, and, for that reason it is often criticized by survivor advocates and attorneys. The Boy Scouts will not likely have to publicize any more of the secret “ineligible volunteer” files kept by the headquarters on countless leaders and volunteers accused of molesting kids in the Boy Scouts organization, for example. In 2012, the Boy Scouts were court-ordered to release documents relating to more than 1200 allegations of abuse received by the national headquarters between 1965 and 1985 – and that disclosure amounted to more than 20,000 pages of documents for that relatively short period of time.
According to its own records, the Boy Scouts are aware of more than 12,000 sexual abuse allegations against 7,800 adults affiliated with the Boy Scouts since the organization was founded in the 1920s. For more information on why sexual abuse became such a problem with the Boy Scouts, visit our page on our Boy Scouts practice area.
The November 16 filing deadline is also referred to as a “bar date” in bankruptcy law. It is a strict, non-negotiable deadline by which all existing claims must be filed against the Boy Scouts or claimants will be forever barred from seeking relief in the future.
According to the Boy Scouts’ attorneys, they expect that more than half the claims will be filed by men over the age of 50, and have developed a plan to notify more than 100 million people in an effort to inform them of the November 16 deadline.
For survivors of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts, this filing deadline likely means that even if your state lawmakers extend the statute of limitations and otherwise allow you to file a lawsuit in the state where you were abused, your claim will be forever barred by the bankruptcy bar date. That makes it critically important for anyone who was victimized by an adult associated with the Boy Scouts to contact competent counsel as soon as possible to discuss your options: the fact is that you probably won’t have any options after November 16. This includes people abused in New York, New Jersey, California and many other states where lawmakers recently opened windows allowing for the filing of lawsuits even where the statute of limitations had previously expired.
The November 16 deadline is a strict filing deadline set by the Court and will not likely be extended by the Court for any reason. Therefore, you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation about your legal options as a survivor of abuse in the Boy Scouts.
Attorney Adam Horowitz and his team of attorneys handle sexual abuse cases against the Boy Scouts of America at both the local and national level in your state and nationwide. If you or someone you know was molested during their participation in the Boy Scouts, email Horowitz Law or call us toll-free at 888-283-9922 now. Strict filing deadlines have been set by the United States Bankruptcy Court. Do not risk missing out on your very last chance to hold the Boy Scouts accountable for its misconduct and deliberate decisions to put boys at risk. Contact us today.