DOVER, Del. — The New York Times reports that the judge presiding over the bankruptcy filings of the Boy Scouts of America, Inc. set a deadline for victims of abuse allegedly perpetrated by Boy Scout leaders. The judge, with the agreement of the lawyers involved, assigned November 16, 2020, as the deadline for victims to file a claim. The lawyers defending the corporation wanted October 6, 2020, as the deadline, while the plaintiffs’ attorneys proposed December 31, 2020, as a fair deadline. The Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection after hundreds of victims of sexual abuse came disclosed crimes committed against them and filed lawsuits seeking damages.
The Boy Scouts wanted a much shorter window for potential plaintiffs to file lawsuits against the corporation. The Boy Scouts asked for only 80 days. The plaintiffs’ attorneys immediately objected. They said that 80 days was not nearly enough time to publish notices in media outlets to inform as many possible victims.
The plan to notify potential victims of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts is expected to reach about 100 million people or just under 33 percent of the population in the U.S. The target audience is men aged 50 or older. That demographic comprises 71 percent of all abuse victims who have filed personal injury claims against the Boy Scouts to date. The informational campaign gives victims a chance to file claims forms with the bankruptcy court.
The Boy Scouts filed their bankruptcy petition to stop personal injury cases so the corporation could establish a victims’ fund for men who were sexually abused by their scout leaders or scoutmasters.
Since 1920, over 12,000 boys were molested by 7,800 men in the Boy Scouts. The claims reach as far back as the 1960s through the 1980s. After that, the Boy Scouts instituted a policy of conducting background checks for their adult leaders and provided abuse-prevention training for all staff.
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