If you suffered through BSA or LDS sexual abuse and have not brought a claim or lawsuit, don’t worry about the statute of limitations having passed. You still have until January 1, 2023.
It was only a few years ago that about one of every five Boy Scouts in the United States was a Mormon and came from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Today, there are no known BSA members from the church. What happened?
Phasing Out the Members of BSA by LDS
Ties between the church and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) were severed on December 31, 2019. It was in 2013 that the BSA announced that it would accept openly gay members. Two years later, the church remarked that it had its issues with such acceptances. Regardless of its reservations, the church remained with BSA for two more years after that. Then, in 2017, it announced that it would be limiting its participation in BSA programs. Mormon boys between the ages of 14 and 17 were pulled from BSA as the directions of the two institutions were deemed to be divergent. That reduced LDS membership by nearly half. What both the BSA and LDS were conspicuously silent about was the number of sexual abuse lawsuits brought against each entity by former BSA members. It was another two years later that that LDS severed all ties with BSA.
A Conspiracy of Silence?
Allegations have been made that although there were reports of sexual abuse made by LDS former BSA leaders and volunteers, LDS church officials failed to notify law enforcement of the allegations. LDS bishops allegedly told the accusers to not say anything to anybody else, so that LDS could conduct its own investigation. It’s also alleged that in the interim, the accused abusers were allowed to remain in their positions or they were reassigned.
The Hartford Settlement
LDS was insured by Hartford Insurance at the time it became aware of the allegations of BSA leaders’ sexual abuse of LDS members. The policy limits are unknown for occurrences like sexual abuse. BSA filed for bankruptcy In February of 2020. In those proceedings, BSA agreed to establish a compensation trust fund for sexual assault victims. LDS settled its claims with Hartford for $250 million to be paid into that compensation trust fund. That payment brought the fund up to somewhere around $1.9 billion. This is only a settlement between LDS and its insurer though. It has no legal effect on any of the claims that are pending in the BSA bankruptcy case.
Can I Still Bring Claims Against BSA and LDS in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware?
Yes, you can. Victims of BSA and LDS sex abuse now have until they become 40 years of age to bring claims against these entities. They also have a three-year window for filing claims, notwithstanding the statute of limitations. The legal bottom line is that anybody who suffered through BSA and LDS sex abuse a three-year opportunity to bring a claim in the bankruptcy court, regardless of the applicable statute of limitations. That three-year window closes on January 1, 2023, so victims must be diligent in preserving their right to seek compensation for the damages that they’ve suffered.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer.
Old cases of sex abuse can be more difficult to litigate. Witnesses might have disappeared or died, and records may have been destroyed or vanished into thin air. If a cover-up existed as alleged, damages in certain cases can triple pursuant to governing law. If you suffered through BSA or LDS sexual abuse and have not brought a claim or lawsuit, don’t worry about the statute of limitations having passed. You still have until January 1, 2023 to bring your claim. Contact us here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC for a confidential free consultation and case evaluation. We’re compassionate and committed, and we want to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. If you don’t bring your claim before January 1, 2023, you’ll likely be forever barred from proceeding on one in the future.