Attorney Paul Mones is currently assisting hundreds of men, sexually abused as Scouts, who are now seeking to hold the Boy Scouts of America accountable for its decades of wrongdoing. His goal is to obtain fair and just compensation for them in the BSA’s bankruptcy that was filed in February of 2020. Unlike many attorneys who are now flooding the airways with slick, aggressive advertisements, Paul Mones has been representing victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse for over 15 years. In 2010 in Portland, Oregon he won a 19.9 million dollar verdict, the largest sexual abuse jury verdict ever rendered against the Boy Scouts of America. Unlike most lawyers currently promoting themselves to assist victims in the BSA bankruptcy, Paul has been representing victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse before it became the front-line news story it is today.
If you were abused while participating in the BSA, Paul and the other members of our experienced team are prepared to guide you through the claims process which can be extremely traumatic for many victims because it requires them to re-examine and look back at the horrific events that happened to them as young innocent boy scouts.
First, it is critical to know that former scouts who were sexually abused have only until 5 p.m. Eastern on November 16, 2020, to file a bankruptcy claim against the Boy Scouts of America. After that, most survivors of abuse will be barred from seeking compensation.
To file a successful claim, you must provide detailed information about your Scouting experience and the abuse you endured. We understand this can be difficult for many reasons. The abuse may have occurred a long time ago, making specific details difficult to recall. It may also be painful to talk about what you endured. Our compassionate team is here to support and guide you.
Establishing Your Eligibility For Compensation
Many of the questions Attorney Mones and the other members of our team will ask you as we are helping you fill out your claim form will help establish your eligibility for compensation. We must be able to prove that you:
- Were sexually abused by a scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, camp employee, camp director, instructor, any other volunteer, or a fellow Scout;
- The abuse occurred before you turned 18; and
- The abuse occurred on or before February 18, 2020.
Sexual abuse is defined very broadly. It is not just unwanted sexual contact like rape, assault, or molestation. Sexual abuse also includes any interaction between an adult and a child that is of a sexual nature. Things like supplying or showing pornography to a minor and/or viewing it with them, creating pornographic or explicit materials with a child, discussing sexual acts, and encouraging minors to perform sexual acts on themselves or others.
It does not matter if you did not consider or were not aware that what happened to you was abuse at the time it occurred. Just because these activities occurred around a campfire, or were called “educational” does not mean they were not abusive.
To maximize your opportunities of receiving the just and fair compensation you deserve, our team is going to have to ask you some very personal and often painful questions about the abuse you endured. We understand how difficult it is to reveal intimate details about your past, and we would not do so if it were not necessary.
If you are not sure what happened to you was sexual abuse, please call us. Talking one on one with a member of our team is a lot easier than trying to figure this out on your own.
The Impact Of Abuse
To seek compensation, you must also reveal the ways the abuse has impacted your life. The following is a list of common things that have happened to survivors of BSA sexual abuse:
- Psychological/emotional health (including depression, anxiety, feeling numb, difficulty managing or feeling emotions including anger)
- Post-traumatic stress reactions (including intrusive images, feelings from the abuse, numbing or avoidance behaviors)
- Physical health (including chronic disease, chronic undiagnosed pain or physical problems)
- Education (including not graduating high school, being unable to finish training or education)
- Employment (including difficulties with supervisors, difficulty maintaining steady employment, being fired from jobs)
- Intimate relationships (including difficulty maintaining emotional attachments, difficulty with sexual behavior, infidelity)
- Social relationships (including distrust of others, isolating yourself, not being able to keep healthy relationships)
- Alcohol and/or substance abuse (including other addictive behavior such as gambling)
Our team has worked with several survivors who only realized how much the abuse they endured spilled over into other aspects of their life once they read this list. It is okay to be upset or overwhelmed by this realization. And it is okay if you don’t feel like any of these apply to you. The claim form allows you to checkboxes next to negative impacts you have suffered, but you can also describe in your own words how the sexual abuse changed the course of your life.
Finally, the claim form will ask for basic demographic data and require you to answer a few questions about your health, work history, education, marital status, military service, and criminal history. The form also goes into a lot of detail on your level of engagement with the BSA and asks if you have previously filed any lawsuits against the organization.
It is important to be honest and forthright when answering these basic questions.
Is everyone going to know I was abused?
Unless you choose to publicly disclose your name on the claim form (there is a special check box for it), filing out a claim form will not reveal to the public that you are a survivor. Claim forms, and the information they contain, are only used by our legal team, the BSA’s legal team, and the court system. Members of the general public are barred from discovering who has come forward and declared themselves a survivor of abuse.
Paul Mones has been Trusted by Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Nationwide for Over 35 Years
Filing out a claim form is the first step you must take if you want to hold the BSA accountable for the decades of sexual abuse it covered up and the abuse you endured. However, we know that identifying yourself as a survivor is not an easy task. Attorney Paul Mones and the other attorneys on our experienced, compassionate team are ready to help answer your questions and guide you through the claims process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.