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Revelations of widespread sexual abuse in Boy Scout troops began reaching the public in the early 2010s. Several local men have been identified as perpetrators of sexual abuse against members of Tacoma-area Boy Scout troops.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) declared bankruptcy in February 2020 after thousands of men filed claims of childhood sexual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers. Since then, the BSA has been attempting to restructure and pay these civil claims.

If you were sexually abused by a Boy Scout leader or other person associated with scouting, contact a Tacoma Boy Scout abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A local sexual abuse attorney could review your claim and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

History of the Litigation

In 2012, a cache of documents was released showing that the BSA was aware of sexual abusers in scouting. BSA officials usually asked the abusers to resign from their positions in the organization but did not report them to the police.

During this decade, multiple states, including Washington, enacted laws allowing adults to sue for childhood sexual abuse. By 2020, the BSA had several large verdicts against them, and over 1400 lawsuits were pending.

The BSA sought to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Their intention here was to funnel all claims of sexual abuse into a trust fund. Doing so would ensure claimants received some acknowledgment of the abuse but enable the organization to continue operating.

Seeking Compensation Through a Shared Claim

Over 80,000 people have filed sexual abuse claims against the BSA since it announced its intention to reorganize under bankruptcy protection. The organization acknowledged that many scouts suffered abuse at the hands of their troop leaders. Evidence indicates the BSA knew the identity of some abusers but allowed them to continue in scouting.

The BSA has been trying to secure funds to pay the claimants while remaining a viable organization. The process has been lengthy, with both claimants and judges rejecting one of BSA’s plans to pay claims. However, a bankruptcy judge approved a plan in August 2022 that aims to provide at least $2.5 billion to survivors of abuse by BSA leaders and volunteers.

Under this plan, the amount a claimant receives depends on the state where the abuse happened and the type of abuse the individual experienced. The potential individual payouts range from several thousand dollars to $2.7 million. Some of the organization’s insurers have appealed the decision, and there is no firm date for payout of the claims.

A knowledgeable Tacoma lawyer could analyze this plan, help determine whether a survivor of Boy Scout abuse is eligible for compensation, and answer any questions that a plaintiff may have about this framework.

Filing a Claim Against the Boy Scouts

The BSA bankruptcy plan is the only option for many survivors of scouting abuse. However, local survivors who did not opt to participate in the bankruptcy plan or who experienced abuse more recently could file a lawsuit against their abuser, the local chapter of the BSA, and, potentially, the sponsoring organization.

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those related to sexual abuse, is three years from the date of injury. When a child is injured, the three-year clock does not begin ticking until they turn 18. Additionally, the deadline for filing to participate in the BSA bankruptcy settlement expired on November 16, 2020. If a child suffered sexual abuse from a BSA leader or volunteer and was under 18 before the bankruptcy time limit expired, they can file a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts within three years of their 18th birthday. A proactive Tacoma lawyer could help with filing a Boy Scout abuse claim and adhering to this unique time limit.

Speak with a Tacoma Boy Scout Abuse Attorney Today

The sheer volume of claims against the Boy Scouts means that most survivors are unlikely to receive a settlement that adequately compensates them for their suffering. However, participating in this settlement fund could offer closure and help a plaintiff collect some compensation for their losses.

Additionally, the circumstances might allow a former boy scout to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser. If you were abused, assaulted, or lewdly mistreated by a member of this organization, you should discuss your options with a Tacoma Boy Scout abuse lawyer. Our experienced legal team could assess your case, answer questions, and help you pinpoint the best legal strategy for your situation. Call today to get started.