Boy Scouts file for bankruptcy, affecting local chapters and lawsuits

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — States across the country have been adjusting their statutes of limitations when it comes to the kind of sex abuse claims being made against the Boy Scouts of America.

The uncertainty created by those changes is thought to be the motivation behind a bankruptcy filing made Tuesday by the national group.

Attorney Joe George is suing the group on behalf of at least two dozen California clients who say they were sexually abused by members of the Boy Scouts.

George told FOX40 he’s outraged by a new bankruptcy filing and said the latest move by the Boy Scouts is a way to insulate about 2,000 more potential predators who are unknown right now.

“Because 90% of the survivors of child sex abuse are not interested in money,” explained George. “We don’t have those names. Filing bankruptcy allows them to protect those names because all discovery in civil litigation is stopped.”

That’s not the goal of the bankruptcy filing, according to the Boy Scouts.

The organization said its new court action will let it equitably compensate those hurt during their time in scouting, using the bankruptcy process to create a Victims Compensation Trust, encouraging those with claims to come forward.

The Boy Scouts have also recently announced a partnership with 1in6, a national resource where male survivors of abuse can receive anonymous support from trained advocates.

Local entities like the Golden Empire Council Boy Scouts Kelly Brothers represents, which now also accept girls, are not part of this Chapter 11 filing and their meetings and services should continue uninterrupted.

“Very disappointing obviously, not a big surprise. This is basically an organized way of handling the issues facing the national council,” Brothers told FOX40. “There’s a dark cloud now sitting over a great organization that is serving thousands of kids in a great way. Many of these accusations are being made against people who are now deceased, 40-50 years later. I’m sure some are legitimate some may be more opportunistic.”

Attorney Joe George said something much simpler than bankruptcy could be the real answer for victims.

“Give up the rest of the names in the files. That’s what will make amends more significantly than anything else,” said George.

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