Compass
11/13/20

Boy Scouts Of America Sexual Abuse Victims Seek Justice In Bankruptcy Court

The Boy Scouts of America are in the midst of a legal action that could threaten the very existence of the iconic, century-old institution. The Scouts declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February after thousands of allegations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by scoutmasters. The scope far exceeds the scope of American Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal — the number of abused Boy Scout claimants is more than 60,000 men. And that number could rise before Monday’s deadline to file a claim.

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Boy Scouts uniform and badges.
11/12/20

Tens of thousands file sex abuse claims against Boy Scouts of America as deadline approaches

The sexual abuse scandal roiling the bankrupt Boy Scouts of America is on track to dwarf a similar scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.

Men and boys who were abused as Scouts face a deadline: They must file claims with the court by 2 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, Nov. 16, to be eligible for redress through a victims’ compensation fund. But while the BSA was expecting some 12,000 men to step forward, the number is many, many times that, casting a darker cloud over the resolution of its bankruptcy proceedings.

“It’s going to easily reach 40,000, maybe even 50,000,” said Los Angeles attorney Paul Mones, who sued the Boy Scouts on behalf of an Oregon man a decade ago — leading to the release of the “Perversion Files,” details of alleged sexual abuse secretly kept by the Boy Scouts for decades, as well as a $19.9 million verdict for the former Scout.

Those files revealed two things that will be the organization’s legacy, Mones said: That the Boy Scouts of America knew about sexual abuse in its ranks for decades, and that it didn’t alert the people who most desperately needed to know — parents and their children.

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10/22/20

Thousands file sexual abuse claims against Boy Scouts as deadline in bankruptcy looms

Faced with a looming deadline next month, thousands of accusers have submitted sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America in a bankruptcy that could cost the youth organization and its insurers hundreds of millions of dollars — or more.

The Scouts, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in February amid declining membership and an onslaught of new abuse lawsuits, will not say how many claims have been submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

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View from inside tent of man walking toward it
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 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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