The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are in Bankruptcy Court trying to minimize the negative financial impact resulting from their widespread cover up of decades of sexual abuse within their ranks. If you are a victim of Boy Scout sexual abuse, you deserve compensation and closure. The only way the Boy Scouts will ever know about your abuse, and its impact on your life, is if you to pursue a claim against the Scouts in the Bankruptcy Court.
To pursue a claim against the Boy Scouts, you or your attorneys must file a special form and submit it to the Bankruptcy Court in a timely fashion. This process is known as the filing of the proof of claim form. The Bankruptcy Court deadline for sexual abuse victims to file a proof of claims form against the BSA is November 16, 2020.
A single mistake on the form could result in the court barring a claim or significantly reducing a victim’s compensation. That’s why it’s highly encouraged for victims to work with an experienced attorney to support them while completing the form.
We’re working with experienced social workers, who understand the emotional “ins and outs” of proving sexual abuse. It’s important that victims do not delay. Contact us for support.
Our team of sexual abuse attorneys and social workers will carefully walk you through each section of the form, gathering as much information about the situation as possible to ensure every detail is correct.
Below, we highlight what you need to know about filing a form, and how an attorney can help to maximize your recovery.
Part 1: Confidentiality
Unless indicated otherwise in the form, your identity is confidential from the public. While the Bankruptcy Court may confidentially share the information provided with court-appointed officials and representatives of the parties to the Boy Scouts bankruptcy proceeding to evaluate the claim, we will protect your identity from the general public.
Part 2: Identifying Information
Once you’ve signed your preference for confidentiality, you’ll need to provide identifying information. This includes:
- Social security number (last four digits).
- Identification number (if in jail or prison).
- Birth year.
- Attorney information (if hired).
The Bankruptcy Court uses this information to process your claim. We will only ever contact you in the manner you request—confidential email, by cell phone, etc.
Part 3: Background Information
Next, you’ll need to provide background information, including your educational and employment history. Other important information includes your Boy Scout Troop, and any information you recall about the location of your Troop and your time in the organization.
Part 4: Nature of the Sexual Abuse
From there, you’ll need to recount the nature of the sexual abuse. Questions will include:
- What was each sexual abuser’s position, title, or relationship to you in scouting?
- Where were you at the time you were sexually abused?
- What was the scouting unit number and physical location of the unit or troop you were in during the time of the sexual abuse?
- How many times were you sexually abused?
- What did the sexual abuse involve?
- Did you or anyone on your behalf tell anyone involved in scouting about the sexual abuse?
- Have you ever reported the sexual abuse to law enforcement?
While it’s difficult to revisit the events of your sexual abuse, we will work with you to be as thorough as possible, with understanding and compassion.
Part 5: Impact of Sexual Abuse
Next, you’ll need to describe how the sexual abuse affected, harmed, damaged, or injured you. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Psychological / emotional Injuries.
- Post-traumatic stress reactions.
- Physical health.
- Intimate relationships.
- Social relationships.
- Alcohol and / or substance abuse.
For this section, you may also provide a narrative. If you sought counseling after the sexual abuse occurred, you’ll want to provide that information as well. Again, we understand just how difficult it is to write or speak about the impact of the sexual abuse, but it’s an important step in preparing your form.
Part 6: Additional Information
Here, you’ll provide information related to prior bankruptcy claims and payments (if any).
In the final section, you must sign that the statements provided in the form are true and correct.
Follow Along as We Track News About the Boy Scouts
The experts at Hurley McKenna & Mertz are tracking all of the news related to the Boy Scouts bankruptcy filing and what it means for claimants.
You can see all the latest updates here.