CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Boy Scouts of America Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy 

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filed by Boyscouts of America After Sexual Abuse Claims

Cases of sexual abuse have been a problem with the Boy Scouts of America since back in the 1940s. There is a deadline in November for claims of sexual abuse against Scoutmasters and others by former Scouts. Sexual abuse can cause long-term emotional and psychological damage as well as physical injuries. 

Many survivors have to go to therapy to deal with this terrible experience as well as the knowledge that their abuser was never held financially accountable for their actions. If you or your loved one was abused as a Boy Scout, it isn’t too late to seek justice with the help of an experienced lawyer. By filing a personal injury claim, you may be able to obtain the financial compensation that you deserve.

Boy Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy

Around 275 lawsuits have already been filed in court, and more than 1,000 others are waiting to be filed. In February, the Boy Scouts of America filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy following hundreds of claims by those who said leaders or Scoutmasters sexually molested them when they were youngsters. Because of the lawsuits, membership in the organization has declined, which has pushed it into a precarious financial position. As a part of the agreement, the BSA had to run a media awareness campaign that encouraged those who were sexually abused to file claims, which cost around $7 million.

Importance of the November Deadline

The November 16 deadline is for filing a sexual abuse claim that occurred on February 18, 2020, or before that date. Should anyone planning on filing a lawsuit miss the deadline, they are barred from making a claim in the future. The date is tied in with the organization’s bankruptcy, adding to their losses. The reorganization that the BSA has proposed would exempt the local councils from liability in claims of sexual abuse filed against the organization.


Sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts is nothing new and has been going on for many years. The following are some statistics about the BSA:

  • Over the years, over 130 million young boys have been members of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • The BSA held the position as the 18th largest nonprofit in the country with annual revenues of around $780 million.
  • In its bankruptcy filing, the BSA listed over $1 billion in assets, including cash assets of almost $200 million and $63 million in properties.
  • In February 2020, their debt was listed as $328 million.
  • Millions of adults have volunteered to work with the organization as leaders or Scoutmasters.
  • Around 12,000 youngsters have claimed to have been molested since the BSA was founded in 1910. The number of those accused of sexual abuse total 7,800. 

Safety Measures in the BSA Were a Long Time Coming

The BSA has been slow in initiating protections against sexual and other abuses against its young members. Abuse prevention training was introduced in the late 1980s. Criminal background checks were not required for new Scout leaders until 2003. Those who were registered before that time were not required to undergo a background check until 2008. In addition to those added safeguards, those who want to become leaders must be approved by the organization representative and the unit committee chair. 

Boy Scouts: Filing a Claim

An experienced attorney can help you or your loved one file a claim, in which the basic details of the sexual abuse incident/incidents are stated. The claim may be filed against Scout leaders and assistant leaders, other Scouts, volunteers, or employees at a Boy Scout camp. If the person suffered a different type of abuse such as hazing, emotional, bullying, or physical, a separate claim form is used. A lawyer can help by filing these forms for you, making it less traumatic and ensuring that the paperwork is completed on time before the filing deadline.

Boy Scouts Sexual Assault Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Boy Scouts Sexual Assault Lawyer. I have free and friendly advice to offer you if you or your loved one was sexually assaulted while in the Boy Scouts. Please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 long-distance. You can also reach me by messaging me online.

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