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Did My Sexual Abuse Happen Too Long Ago to File a Claim Against the Boy Scouts of America?

August 25, 2020  ·  By HM&M


Several victims of childhood sexual abuse fear too much time has passed to seek justice against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

How long ago did your abuse occur? Was it 10, 15, or 20 years ago? Regardless of how long ago it took place, it’s not too late to come forward.

In fact, there’s no time limitation in the BSA bankruptcy cases. Victims are encouraged to file claims, even if their abuse happened many years ago.

There is, however, a deadline for victims to submit a proof of claims form against BSA. For more information on how and when to file a claim, plus answers to common questions, continue reading below.

When is the deadline to file a Boy Scout claim?

Following the February 2020 bankruptcy filing, the court approved the November 16, 2020 deadline, leaving sexual abuse victims with under four months to submit a proof of claims form.

The proof of claims form is the formal document all victims must submit, detailing key information about their abuse. This includes those who have:

  • Experienced sexual abuse while a member of the BSA, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.
  • Experienced other, non-sexual forms of abuse, like physical or emotional abuse, as well as bullying and hazing.
  • Filed a sexual abuse claim against the BSA previously, but never received compensation or resolution of your claim.
  • Reported sexual abuse while you were a Boy Scout to law enforcement.

Failure to submit a proof of claims form before the deadline will result in your claim being barred forever, so you must act fast.

We understand taking action isn’t always easy, but in our experience as advocates for victims of abuse, only by pursuing a claim, will you obtain the closure you deserve.

How do I file a claim?

The proof of claims form is lengthy, with six required sections for victims to fill out. These include:

  • The victims preference for confidentiality.
  • Identifying information.
  • Background information.
  • Nature of the sexual abuse.
  • Impact of the sexual abuse.
  • Additional information.

Each section lists a series of questions for victims to answer about the abuse. For most victims, these questions are difficult to answer, especially if the abuse happened many years ago, so you should seek the support of a trusted attorney. After all, a single mistake on the form may result in a barred claim or reduced compensation.

What about the statute of limitations in my state?

You may also have concerns about whether the statute of limitations has expired in your state. This is normal, as these are laws passed by state legislatures that place time limits on how long a person has to file a lawsuit in court.

Luckily, recent laws enacted in California, Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, and New York have extended or eliminated the statute of limitations for abuse victims who want to pursue lawsuits against organizations like the Boy Scouts and their local councils. This gives victims more time to seek justice for the wrongdoings of their perpetrators, so don’t worry about whether the statute of limitations has expired.

Victims are allowed and encouraged to come forward, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred.

Contact Us to File a Claim Against the Boy Scouts of America

The experts at Hurley McKenna & Mertz have represented more than 1,400 former Boy Scouts who are victims of sexual abuse. If you have not yet scheduled a consultation to file a sexual abuse claim against the BSA, contact us today.

Your consultation is absolutely free. It’s only after we secure a settlement for you that we receive any form of compensation.

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