View from inside tent of man walking toward it

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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