How the Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Affects NY Child Victims Act Cases

Rochester Attorney Robert Friedman discusses the different deadlines for suing separate regional Boy Scouts councils for child sexual abuse.

Good Morning. I am Bob Friedman, Attorney with Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC.

Welcome to the September 16th, 2020 edition of the Legal Survival Channel: Today’s Legal News You Can Use.

We have received many questions lately about the Boy Scouts of America’s (“BSA”) bankruptcy. The BSA announced on February 17, 2020 that it was filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, a decision with far-reaching implications for survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Scout leaders and other adults within the organization.   Most significantly, if survivors wish to recover damages from the BSA for past abuse, claims must now go through the United States Bankruptcy Court. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court set a deadline of November 16, 2020 for filing such claims.  Any survivor who fails to file a proof of claim prior to this date could be denied recovery from the BSA.  This  claims bar date comes well before the State of New York’s new August 14, 2021 deadline for survivors to file otherwise time barred cases.

This is also an important date to keep in mind, as the BSA’S bankruptcy does not prevent lawsuits in New York State Supreme Court against separately incorporated regional Boy Scout councils such as the Greater Niagara Frontier Council in Western New York and the Leatherstocking, Baden Powell, and Seneca Waterways Councils in Upstate New York.   The Greater Niagara Frontier Council is currently named as a defendant in seven separate Child Victims Act cases in Erie County.  Nine separate lawsuits have also recently been filed against the Upstate Councils.

Whether you bring a claim against the BSA in Bankruptcy Court or against a regional council in State Supreme Court, your identity throughout the entire process will be made completely confidential, unless you choose to make it public.

Nonetheless, coming forward as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse still takes great courage, and filing a claim during these trying times can be incredibly burdensome.  No one should have to face these battles alone.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer PC are here to fight for you.  If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, contact us at 585-484-7432 for a free and completely confidential consultation.

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