If you are a former Boy Scout, you could still sue the Boy Scouts of America for sex abuse and other liable parties, depending on factors unique to your case.
You should contact a Tacoma Boy Scout abuse attorney immediately. They can review your situation and legal options and explain the next steps to take during a free and private consultation.
80,000+ Have Reported Sexual Abuse Claims Involving Boy Scouts of America
Sexual abuse allegations have long swirled around the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), dating back several decades. In recent years, the organization has been in crisis, addressing allegations from thousands who say they endured sexual abuse from scoutmasters and other adult leaders.
To date, more than 82,000 people have filed claims against the organization, alleging sexual assault, molestation, and sexual harassment, among other sexual crimes. Plaintiffs also allege the organization knew about the abuse for many years but covered it up and did nothing to protect children.
$18.5 Million Awarded in 2010 Boy Scouts of America Sexual Abuse Case
As CNN reports, in 2010, a jury awarded $18.5 million to Kerry Lewis of Oregon, a former Boy Scout who claimed a former assistant scoutmaster sexually abused him more than 25 years earlier when he was 12 years old in the 1980s.
The award is reportedly the largest punitive damages award a plaintiff in a U.S. child abuse case has received. At the time, Lewis was one of six people suing BSA for sexual abuse.
For a free legal consultation, call 206-558-5555
Boy Scouts Filed for Bankruptcy in 2020 Amid Former Scouts’ Sexual Abuse Claims
Lewis’ lawsuit was just the beginning of multiple claims that plaintiffs would file against BSA over the years. In February 2020, the youth organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it faced about 300 lawsuits from plaintiffs who claimed they suffered abuse, as NPR reports.
BSA said it claimed Chapter 11 to reorganize its finances and create a trust fund that would allow it to compensate survivors and their families. Some noted BSA’s bankruptcy filing came after several states passed laws that allowed survivors to pursue decades-old sexual abuse claims, according to Reuters.
In March 2023, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Delaware ruled to uphold a $2.4 billion bankruptcy settlement for BSA, saying it allows the organization to continue running while it pays the thousands of survivors seeking compensation, according to NBC News.
Per the Associated Press, some of BSA’s insurers and plaintiffs objected to the bankruptcy organization plan, saying it hurts insurers’ and survivors’ rights. Upon the judge’s ruling, the organization exited from its Chapter 11 filing.
What Does the Boy Scouts’ Compensation Fund Mean for Sex Abuse Survivors?
People seeking compensation from the trust fund BSA set up when it filed for bankruptcy had until November 16, 2020, to file a claim. That deadline has passed, although a sexual abuse attorney can review a claim now to see what payment a plaintiff could receive under that plan.
However, if you (or a loved one) opted out and did not file a claim under BSA’s bankruptcy plan or if the abuse occurred more recently, you could sue for damages. You could also sue third parties who had a role in the abuse.
You also must meet certain criteria, which an attorney can review with you during a free consultation. These criteria can require you to show:
- You were an active BSA member when you were abused.
- A BSA leader abused you, such as a scoutmaster or an employee.
- You have proof of injuries you have suffered from the abuse, such as physical and mental pain and suffering.
How a Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Lawyer Can Lead Your Compensation Case
A personal injury attorney who handles sexual abuse cases can demand full financial recovery for the harm you suffered. While you do not need an attorney to bring a case against the BSA, hiring one to represent you ensures your case receives the attention it deserves. You will have a legal professional protecting your rights and interests as they demand that BSA and other liable parties pay for the harm you endured.
An attorney can lead your entire case and handle all parts of the legal process. When you meet with them, they can discuss important topics with you, including:
Statute of Limitations Filing Deadlines for Your Case
If you want to take legal action, you can reach out to a personal injury attorney who can advise you on the statute of limitations regarding childhood sexual abuse in your state. These laws dictate how much time survivors must file their lawsuits.
As noted earlier, some states have extended the time survivors have to file their lawsuits or removed time limits altogether. Each state varies on this, so talk with a lawyer or law firm that can confirm which filing deadlines apply to your case.
Recoverable Damages in Your Case
Many sexual abuse survivors carry invisible wounds with them years after the abuse occurs. The effects of these crimes can last a lifetime. If you or a loved one wants to sue the Boy Scouts of America for sex abuse, you could recover monetary compensation for various kinds of losses, such as:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitative therapy costs
- Mental health treatment, including therapy and counseling
- Income loss and lost or impaired earning ability
- Pain and suffering and other intangible damages
- Other related damages for out-of-pocket costs
Parties You Can Sue for Damages
It has been widely reported that the Boy Scouts of America’s officials knew about sexual misconduct that took place involving minors. An attorney can advise you on who could be liable for compensation after reviewing the details of your situation. These parties can include:
- Assistant scoutmasters
- Troop leaders
- Camp employees, including directors or instructors
- Camp volunteers
- Council members
- Other Scouts
- A local Boy Scouts of America council
A lawyer will identify every liable party that potentially owes you damages and will demand full compensation from each.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form
Other Ways an Attorney Can Lead Your Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Case
A Boy Scouts sexual abuse attorney can gather and assemble evidence supporting your case, including when and where the abuse took place and who was involved. They will lead all legal proceedings inside and outside the courtroom and take steps to preserve your privacy. They can also lead negotiation talks with the opposing parties and devote the time and attention your case needs.
Lawyers Can Handle Boy Scouts of America Sex Abuse Cases at No Upfront Cost
You won’t have to handle or submit any legal paperwork, as your attorney will handle this task. They will also update you on all case developments and answer your questions and concerns.
You also won’t have to worry about paying upfront attorney’s fees and costs to hire your attorney if they handle cases on a contingency fee basis. Under this payment arrangement, attorneys do not collect any fees for their services unless they win the client’s case.
Call Jackman Law Firm for Help With a Boy Scouts of America Sex Abuse Case
Jackman Law Firm’s legal team is ready to seek compensation for you or a loved one if you endured sexual abuse while a Boy Scout member. Our compassionate attorneys understand these sensitive cases and handle our clients with the utmost respect and care.
We will listen to you and do everything we can to hold the liable parties accountable. We can meet with you at your office, home, or a location that is convenient for you. We accept these cases and require no upfront fees as we work on them, and we do not get paid unless we recover compensation for you. Call us today for a free, private consultation.