On February 17, 2020, the Boy Scouts of America announced 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 Boy Scouts of America for past abuse, claims must now go through the United States Bankruptcy Court.
Recently, the 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 Boy Scouts of America. It should be noted that this claims bar date comes well before the State of New York’s August 14, 2021 deadline for survivors to file otherwise time barred cases.
This is also an important date to keep in mind, as the Boy Scouts of America’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 Boy Scouts of America 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. Our attorneys 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.