The Boy Scouts of America has officially filed for bankruptcy after thousands of lawsuits due to claims of sexual abuse.
According to CBSNews.com, the Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court sets into motion what could be one of the largest, most complicated bankruptcies ever seen. Tons of lawyers are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men who say they were molested by scoutmasters or other leaders decades ago and are just becoming eligible to sue because of recent changes in their states’ statute-of-limitations laws.
It was so many suits coming at the 110 year old organization that the Boy Scouts had to file bankruptcy to put the sexual abuse lawsuits on hold for now. To pay off some their debts, they could ultimately be forced to sell off some of their vast property holdings, including campgrounds and hiking trails, to raise money for a compensation fund that could surpass $1 billion. The number of youths taking part in scouting has dropped from 4 million in peak years of the 1970’s down to 2 million today.
Evan Roberts, a spokesman for the Scouts, says, “Scouting programs will continue throughout this process and for many years to come. Local councils are not filing for bankruptcy because they are legally separate and distinct organizations.”
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