Sexual abuse allegations have always plagued the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Yet, because of the destruction of certain records in the 1970s, many people weren’t aware of the issue until the early 2000s. Since then, many survivors of abuse have come forward and filed lawsuits against Boy Scouts of America and various individuals responsible for the abuse.
If you survived sexual abuse during your time as a Boy Scout, you could benefit from learning about the history of these lawsuits and the legal initiatives evolving today. Jackman Law Firm’s Washington sexual abuse attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to those interested in learning about their options. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to hear your story.
The Boys Scouts of America Sex Abuse Timeline: What to Know
The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910. However, just 10 years later, executives in the national organization began compiling records of volunteers who were blacklisted because of child sexual abuse allegations. Even in the early days of this organization, Scoutmasters and others in positions of authority abused children––and faced no repercussions.
- In 1935, President Theodore Roosevelt’s son gave a speech that alluded to rampant sexual abuse within BSA’s ranks. Documentation of abuse was allegedly kept in something called “the Red Files.” By this point, thousands of people had been barred or dismissed from participating in the organization.
- In the 1970s, Boy Scouts executives admitted to destroying much of the evidence found in the “Perversion Files.” The documents named Scoutmasters who engaged in or were accused of child sexual abuse.
- In 2007, six men successfully sued BSA for the abuse they endured in the 1980s. The trial revealed the organization had destroyed records and covered up many instances of abuse to protect its reputation.
Before 2007, many people were unaware the Boy Scouts of America had endangered the scouts’ lives and allowed perpetrators to remain in its ranks. After a judge awarded the six plaintiffs more than $19 million in damages, many others filed lawsuits, alleging similar experiences in Scouting programs.
Successful Lawsuits Forced Boy Scouts of America Into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
In 2020, because of the myriad of lawsuits filed against the organization, the Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, as of April 23, 2023, it had fulfilled its obligations and exited bankruptcy.
The Boy Scouts of America created the “Victims Compensation Trust,” which has more than $2.4 billion. This trust allows the Boy Scouts of America to continue operations and compensate survivors.
For a free legal consultation, call 206-558-5555
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Boy Scouts Abuse Lawsuits
Even with all the lawsuits and media attention, many people are still unaware of how prevalent abuse was (and still is) within the Boy Scouts of America. So, it’s understandable to have questions about your options and other related details. You may ask:
‘Why Is Boy Scouts Liable for Instances of Sexual Abuse in Scouting?’
Boy Scouts of America is liable for any instances of sexual abuse involving its Scout leaders and other representatives. Multiple civil trials have revealed that the organization went to great lengths to obscure instances of abuse and shield perpetrators from criminal charges.
Sexual abuse was so rampant in the youth-serving organization that it had a template sent to those facing sex abuse allegations. It read: “We are making no accusations and will not release this information to anyone, so our action in no way will affect your standing in the community.” This disregarded survivors’ statements and allowed Scoutmasters to continue abusing children under their care.
‘What Goes into Having a Successful Sexual Abuse Claim or Lawsuit?’
To hold the Boy Scouts of America liable for what you endured, your legal team must demonstrate some basic elements, including:
- You were involved in a Boy Scouts of America youth program.
- You suffered sexual abuse or assault.
- You were not previously compensated through a claim or lawsuit.
You don’t have to worry about finding evidence to support your case or dealing with the other obligations that go into recovering damages. With our law firm’s support, you can focus on what matters most while we hold the organization liable for your losses.
“How Much Have People Recovered for Their Losses?”
Per National Public Radio (NPR), in 2021, the Boy Scouts of America reached a $850 million settlement with more than 60,000 men who alleged abuse while in the organization.
How much you can recover, however, is unique to your situation. Our team considers many factors when determining what constitutes fair compensation for past, present, and future challenges.
You Have Options If You Survived Sexual Abuse While in Boy Scouts of America
You’re not alone if you suffered sexual abuse while in Boy Scouts. Thousands of people have come forward, alleging that the organization failed to keep them safe. Because of the overwhelming amount of evidence, many of these cases will likely be settled out of court through the Victims Compensation Trust. The deadline to file a claim against the trust fund was November 16, 2020.
We can review your claim to determine what you could receive from the fund. If you did not file a claim from the trust fund or if Scouting abuse occurred more recently, you can partner with Jackman Law Firm on your injury claim. We will seek to hold the Boy Scouts of America responsible for what you experienced and recover compensation for you. Call our team to start your free, private case review. Everything you share remains between us and our staff. This is your opportunity to get answers and justice.