Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is a national youth institution that has been promoting leadership for over one hundred years. Unfortunately, the BSA also has a long history of children suffering from sexual harassment and abuse while scouting. The public has learned recently that the BSA failed to implement proper safety and prevention measures; this failure is so egregious that that BSA’s insurance companies have refused payment of claims, alleging the abuse was preventable.
If you or someone you know was sexually abused at the hands of a Boy Scout leader or another volunteer or participant, call the law office of Andrew Shubin for a free consultation. With extensive experience in handling complex cases of institutional sexual abuse and harassment, the team of attorneys at Shubin Law can help you determine the causes of action you can pursue and seek recovery for your losses. Call (814) 826-3586.
Claims of Sexual Abuse by Boy Scount Officials
Between 1944 and 2016, 7,819 abusers were identified, and 12,254 victims were reportedly violated by Scouts Masters, Club Scout packs, Explorer scouts, and Sea Scouts. Shockingly, there are reliable reports that the BSA always knew of the sexual abuse incidents but failed to report the perpetrators; law enforcement only became involved after the first sexual abuse and harassment scandal broke out.
A set of documents called The Perversion Files contain a chilling compilation of the reports of abusive behavior families endured. It’s a troubling account of the ways BSA’s volunteers sought the trust of children and families before sexually abusing them. It’s deeply troubling to learn in these documents how some perpetrators were allowed to resign quietly.
Incredibly, there were records dating as far back as the 1920s in a document called “Red Flag” that preceded the Perversion Files. The level of systematic cover-up is an injustice against innocent families who trusted their child to the BSA with the promise of helping the child build leadership skills and character.
If your family has been affected by this egregious lack of responsibility, you should contact an attorney who can evaluate your case. Even if the event occurred many years ago, recent developments show a pattern of fraudulent concealment that can give rise to an exception to the usual deadlines or statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.
Recent Findings on the Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse
The BSA failed to report accusations to the authorities and even hid the allegations from parents and the public. In over 125 cases, men allegedly continued to molest scouts after BSA received information about charges of abusive behavior. Scouts asked to quietly resign were protected with bogus reasons for their departures. In fact, most of those accused of criminal charges are not named in the blacklist that the organization has used to exclude suspected molesters.
The number of children who have been abused is much larger than the BSA has ever disclosed. At least two of the BSA’s insurers have refused to cover the payouts, contending that the organization could have prevented the abuse that led to the claims.
Negligence and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claims
The Boy Scouts of America is a private, non-profit organization, and for legal purposes they are treated as a “person” and are responsible for the actions of their volunteers. At times, there is indirect or vicarious liability for the actions of volunteers while there is also direct liability for the cover-up of sexual abuse and harassment.
In the case of a privately funded non-profit like the BSA, lawsuits are limited to private causes of action. Failure to protect the children under BSA’s care can give rise to multiple negligence claims, including:
- Negligent supervision in failing to protect children against known abusers
- Gross negligence in allowing abusers to continue hurting children
- Recklessness in exposing children to dangerous sexual predators
- Willful and wanton conduct in covering up the crimes
- Negligent selection and retention of volunteers
A civil lawsuit for the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress is based on psychological abuse caused when the BSA let sexual predators hurt children systematically. An attorney can evaluate your case to determine if the actions were calculated or intentional as opposed to a negligent oversight.
Statute of Limitations on Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Recent news reports give an indication that BSA engaged in fraudulent concealment by covering the crime while offering to pay for psychological therapy for the victims. Generally, the filing requirement for a legal claim of negligence is two years, though fraudulent concealment creates an exception to the deadline. An experienced lawyer can present a solid argument to delay the statute of limitations, effectively extending the deadline to file a lawsuit.
Moreover, the BSA is reportedly planning to file for bankruptcy, which makes your timely filing all the more important. A qualified attorney can explain at greater length if and how bankruptcy can impact your legal claims.
If Your Child Experienced Sexual Abuse or Harassment in the Boy Scouts, Our Lawyers Can Help
At the law office of Andrew Shubin, you will receive high-quality legal representation. Our accomplished legal practice has experience fighting for victims of sexual abuse and harassment and has handled some of the most difficult cases of cover-ups. Plus, you can pursue justice without worrying about legal fees, because our payment is contingent on the success of your claim. To learn more about how we can assist you, call (814) 826-3586 today.