09/08/20

Boy Scouts ads brings thousands of new sex abuse claims

By Christian Boone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A national advertising campaign by the Boy Scouts of America alerting victims of decades-old sexual abuse they have until Nov. 16 to seek compensation has spawned thousands of new claims and a behind-the-scenes battle pitting survivors against attorneys.

The fight is all about controlling the process that will determine the compensation fund, established after the Scouts, beset by hundreds of lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

“Will the decision be made by survivors, guided by lawyers, or by lawyers appearing on behalf of their clients?” said Atlanta attorney Esther Panitch, who represents Robb Lawson, one of nine survivors chosen in March to represent the victims’ interest in the Boy Scouts’ Chapter 11 case. In a 2016 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lawson disclosed he was sexually abused by Fleming Weaver, a former Scoutmaster and well-known civic figure in Gainesville.

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Boy scout hat and child's hat
09/04/20

Plaintiffs’ attorneys take aim at Boy Scouts’ `dark history’

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Like millions of other Americans in the 1950s and ’60s, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower spent his formative years learning to tie knots, build campfires and pitch tents with the Boy Scouts, whose wholesome, God-fearing reputation was burnished by Normal Rockwell’s magazine-cover paintings of fresh-faced Scouts, brave, courteous and cheerful.

Though he’s no longer involved in Scouting, the 70-year-old Mennonite minister from Fresno, California, has followed the slow deterioration of the Boy Scouts of America from afar and cringes to think what this week’s bankruptcy filing over a blizzard of sex-abuse lawsuits might mean for an organization already grappling with a steep decline in membership.

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Boy scout handbook
09/02/20

US Boy Scouts Launch Ads on How Abuse Victims Can Seek Money

NEW YORK – Under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge, the Boy Scouts of America has launched a nationwide advertising campaign to notify victims of decades-old sex abuse by Scout leaders that they have until Nov. 16 to seek compensation from a proposed fund.

Law firms say they have already signed up thousands of clients to submit claims since the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in February in the face of hundreds of lawsuits. Some lawyers predict the number of people filing claims will surge past 20,000 by the November deadline.

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Compass
02/25/20

Letter from the Editor: ‘That was the dam that broke the Boy Scouts’

The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy reorganization last week, the end result of a downfall that arguably started with a public access case The Oregonian spearheaded.

“That was the dam that broke the Boy Scouts,” said attorney Paul Mones.

Back in 2010, Mones won a large verdict against the Boy Scouts for a Portland man who said he was molested as a child by a Scoutmaster. The nearly $20 million judgment from an Oregon jury was the largest ever against the Scouts.

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Camping tents
02/24/20

Retracing the Boy Scouts’ Path to Bankruptcy

The Boy Scouts of America was dogged by sex-abuse claims for more than 50 years before it implemented key child-safety policies in the late 1980s.

Now, after more than a dozen states changed their statute-of-limitations laws in 2019 to allow lawsuits based on decades-old allegations, hundreds of men are coming forward to say they were abused decades ago.

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Man wittles stick with a pocket knife
02/21/20

Plaintiffs’ attorneys take aim at Boy Scouts’ ‘dark history’

SALT LAKE CITY — Like millions of other Americans the 1950s and ’60s, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower spent his formative years learning to tie knots, build campfires and pitch tents with the Boy Scouts, whose wholesome, God-fearing reputation was burnished by Norman Rockwell’s magazine-cover paintings of fresh-faced Scouts, brave, courteous and cheerful.

Though he’s no longer involved in scouting, the 70-year-old Mennonite minister from Fresno, California, has followed the slow deterioration of the Boy Scouts of America from afar and cringes to think what this week’s bankruptcy filing over a blizzard of sex-abuse lawsuits might mean for an organization already grappling with a steep decline in membership.

“It’s really sad. I’m afraid that people are going to be more skeptical than they were once about the organization and will be more inclined to look for other alternatives to Scouting,” said Ruth-Heffelbower, who grew up in Kansas. “Theses days there are so many things pulling at kids.”

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Summer camp cabins
02/18/20

Boy Scouts Of America Files For Bankruptcy Amid Hundreds Of Sex Abuse Lawsuits

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the first step in a plan to restructure their finances in order to pay restitution to victims who were sexually abused by members of the organization. The bankruptcy filing does not appear to signal the end of the BSA, as its managers have promised to continue Scouting in the future.

The BSA is far from the only organization to have dealt with adults within its ranks sexually abusing children. In fact, the BSA’s sexual-abuse problem was — in a way — overshadowed by similar allegations within the Catholic Church and USA Gymnastics.

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Camp fire
02/18/20

The Boy Scouts Just Filed for Bankruptcy in the Face of Thousands of Sex Abuse Claims

Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday in the face of a crippling wave of lawsuits alleging that its employees and volunteers sexually abused the children in their care.

The Delaware filing will help shield the Boy Scouts’ coffers while the organization faces the prospect of compensating hundreds, if not thousands, of alleged sex abuse victims. The national Boy Scouts council has roughly $1.4 billion in assets. Its affiliated nonprofits, like its local councils, have another $3.3 billion in assets, a Wall Street Journal analysis found in January.

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