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Hurley McKenna & Mertz Answers Frequently Asked Questions About the Current State of the BSA Bankruptcy

As a service to our current clients, HMM has created a list of frequently asked questions about the BSA Bankruptcy.  We have done our best to provide answers to each question, based on currently available information.  We will update this page when new information is available.

NEW – When will the Confirmation Hearing end and when can we expect the judge to rule?

Closing arguments in the Confirmation case will begin on Wednesday, April 6. We expect those arguments to last through Friday, April 8.  While there is no specific timeframe for the judge to rule, most lawyers with experience practicing in front of her expect her ruling to come down towards the end of April or early May.

NEW – Did any victims testify? If so, why were they specifically chosen to testify?

Yes, three victims testified. Professor Doug Kennedy is the co-chairman of the TCC and helped craft the new Youth Protection protocols BSA will implement. He testified in favor of the Plan and the positive changes BSA will make to its Youth Protection. Two survivors from Guam testified about their abuse. They testified because the Guam victims are uniquely situated in that they have overlapping claims in the Bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of Guam.  The Court heard approximately 30 minutes of testimony from each of the victims.


  1. How much money will I be getting?

It is too early to tell how much each claimant will receive, for two main reasons. First, we cannot predict the total amount of money available for distribution because 15 insurance companies and many charter organizations still have not settled. Second, it is very typical in cases with this many Claimants for many individuals to not pursue their claim. We do not know with any precision how many Claimants will choose to drop their claim.

  1. When will I receive my money?

 Distributions are not going to be available for many months. If the Bankruptcy Court approves the Plan, there may still be appeals of that decision. Depending on how many parties appeal the decision, it may take the Appellate Court many months to rule. All of this will delay distributions.

  1. How does my state statute of limitations affect my claim?

 The states are categorized to reflect the civil statute of limitations for each state. This is reflected by reducing the claim’s value by a certain percentage. The state this applies to is the state of abuse, not the state you currently live in. You can see your state reduction here.

  1. Why is this taking so long?

 This is one of the most complex bankruptcies of all time. Besides the national BSA council, there are over 200 local BSA councils, thousands of chartering organizations and insurance companies with policies that span over decades.

 We are working diligently to get a fair plan passed that allows for just compensation. This takes time. In state courts, cases such as these could take much longer. Though we have come to an agreement with the BSA, there are numerous unavoidable steps we must take to adhere to the rules of the bankruptcy court. We are continuing to push forward.

  1. How will my claim be categorized?

Your claim will first be placed into a tier based on the severity of abuse. Your claim will then be allocated further points based on the specific details you provided. (Ex. abuser name, number of times of abuse, years, locations, etc.) Then, your claim will be reduced by a certain percentage based on the statute of limitations in the state where you were abused.

Once your claim has been categorized, the trustee will provide us with information on how they allocated points. We will meet with you to go over the categorization and determine whether there is anything we can appeal to ensure you have the maximum points. We will also argue for maximum compensation.

  1. What insurance policy do I fall under and how does that affect me?

 The insurance companies are contributing to the BSA Trust Fund collectively. Regardless of the years of abuse, your claim is not going to be excluded from settlement due to an insurance policy.

  1. Can I file a claim against my local council or chartering organization?

 At present, lawsuits cannot proceed past filing due to a bankruptcy injunction. We are, however, filing all suits where the statute of limitations will expire in the near future.

If an entity contributes a significant amount of money towards the BSA Trust Fund, they may obtain a release through the Bankruptcy Court. A release would prevent claimants from filing against that entity in the state courts. It will be decided by the judge whether or not an entity gets released. When it is time for distributions, we will let you know whether or not the entities in your individual case have obtained releases.

  1. Do you need my banking information for the settlements?

No. We issue settlements by check and we will not be issuing settlements through direct deposit. Do not give anyone your banking information. We will confirm your address when it is time to mail out the settlement checks. This way, you will be notified when to expect it in the mail.

  1. Can I add information to my claim?

 Yes. Email with your additional information. If you have any photographs of you involved in the scouts, or any memorabilia such as patches, handbooks, etc., please send those to us and that will serve as your evidence. If you are not able to provide these, you can have a friend or family member that was in your life at the time write a letter, called an affidavit, stating their relationship to you and that they remember your involvement in the scouts. It would also be helpful if they can sign it, and/or provide some contact information.

  1. What if I have questions about my claim?

Email with your questions.  We will do our best to respond.

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