Boy Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy in Wake of Lawsuits

The Chapter 11 filing will allow the Scouts to continue while they handle claims from victims of sexual abuse

A detial view of a Boy Scout uniform on February 4, 2013 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
A detial view of a Boy Scout uniform on February 4, 2013 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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By Bonnie Stiernberg / February 18, 2020 9:42 am

The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy in response to the lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse within the organization. As the Washington Post notes, the Chapter 11 filing will allow the Boy Scouts to continue operating as it handles claims from hundreds of victims and reorganizes its finances.

The filing will also require potential victims to come forward within a limited timeframe to seek compensation.

“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” Roger Mosby, the president and CEO of the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement early Tuesday morning. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process — with the proposed Trust structure — will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”

For some with ties to victims, the bankruptcy filing represents a step in the right direction. “In a way, this is an acknowledgment finally on the part of the Boy Scouts that they had this enormous problem and the problem is so large that they can’t deal with it themselves,” Michael Pfau, a lawyer who represents about 300 alleged victims, told the Post. “It is a bit of a day of reckoning for the Boy Scouts.”

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