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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Camping tents
02/18/20

Boy Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy After Surge in Sex Abuse Lawsuits

The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy Tuesday as the century-old institution faces spiraling costs from hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits. The group’s bankruptcy filing in Delaware listed whopping liabilities that ranged between $100 million and $500 million and assets of $1 billion to $10 billion.* In response to the deluge of suits, the youth organization that says it currently serves more than 2 million youths began positioning itself for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as far back as December 2018, but the actual filing didn’t take place until this week.

By seeking bankruptcy protection, the outdoor and youth leadership group, which claims more than 110 million participants since its inception, puts a halt to the litigation and will give the Boy Scouts a window to negotiate settlements with those who have sued, potentially rolling all claims into a single final resolution.

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Boy scout sash with badges
02/18/20

Boy Scouts Seek Bankruptcy to Survive a Deluge of Sex-Abuse Claims

The nonprofit group, which counts more than two million youth participants, follows Catholic dioceses and U.S.A. Gymnastics in seeking bankruptcy protection amid sex-abuse cases.

Hoping to contain a deluge of sexual-abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America took shelter in bankruptcy court on Tuesday, filing for Chapter 11 protection that will let the group keep operating while it grapples with questions about the future of the century-old Scouting movement.

The bankruptcy filing was made by the national organization, and does not involve the local councils that run day-to-day programs. Even so, the case sets up what may be one of the most complex financial restructurings in American history. Thousands of people have already come forward with allegations that they were abused as scouts, and many more are expected to do so.

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Boy Scouts of America flag
02/18/20

Boy Scouts Of America Files For Bankruptcy As It Faces Hundreds Of Sex-Abuse Claims

The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy, a sign of the century-old organization’s financial instability as it faces some 300 lawsuits from men who say they were sexually abused as Scouts.

The organization says it will use the Chapter 11 process to create a trust to provide compensation to victims. Scouting programs will continue throughout.

The Boy Scouts had been exploring the possibility of bankruptcy since at least December 2018, when the group hired a law firm for a possible Chapter 11 filing. Chapter 11 usually involves the debtor making a reorganization plan to keep its business alive and pay its creditors over time.

The filing was made in Delaware and is expected to set a new deadline for victims’ claims to be made.

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Camp fire at night
02/18/20

Boy Scouts’ future uncertain after bankruptcy filing

Barraged with sex-abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in hopes of working out a potentially mammoth victim compensation plan that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on.

The Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware, sets in motion what could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies ever seen. Scores of lawyers are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men who say they were molested as scouts by scoutmasters or other leaders decades ago but are only now eligible to sue because of recent changes in their states’ statute-of-limitations laws.

Bankruptcy will enable the Scouts to put those lawsuits on hold for now. But ultimately they could be forced to sell off some of their vast property holdings, including campgrounds and hiking trails, to raise money for a compensation trust fund that could surpass $1 billion.

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Boy Scout hat and handkerchief
02/18/20

The Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy after facing hundreds of new allegations of sexual abuse

Facing a wave of lawsuits and decades-old allegations of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, complicating the path to justice for the thousands of former Scouts who say they were abused during their time in the storied American institution.

The organization filed just after midnight in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, ending months of speculation that it would take such an action. The filing covers the national organization but excludes its local councils. These entities operate troops and hold about 70% of the organization’s wealth, a Wall Street Journal analysis found.

The Boy Scouts have experienced over a decade of tumult from declining membership, the dissolution of key partnerships, controversy over their decision to allow gay and female members, and scrutiny over the extent to which child predators operated within their ranks.

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