The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware federal district court Tuesday.
The bankruptcy filing comes after recent sexual abuse allegations against BSA members. In January Abused in Scouting, a group dedicated to seeking relief for sexual abuse victims previously in the Boy Scouts, filed a suit against the BSA that could allow hundreds of victims under the age of 40 pursue similar action. This suit accompanied various other previous suits filed in courts around the country.
Many critics of the bankruptcy filing accuse the BSA of trying to avoid legal responsibility for the abuse. However, the BSA maintains that its bankruptcy filing will ensure the best compensation for victims while preserving the organization. The BSA released a press statement over the filing:
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) today announced that the national organization has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come. The BSA intends to use the Chapter 11 process to create a Victims Compensation Trust that would provide equitable compensation to victims. Scouting programs, including unit meetings and activities, council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects, will continue throughout this process and for many years to come. The BSA fully intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws. The organization also will pay its vendors and partners for all goods and services delivered from today forward.
With its filing, the BSA submitted a plan to create a victims’ compensation trust for sexual abuse victims. The BSA plans to use the trust to settle with victims out of court and prevent the victims from filing suit in the future. The court has yet to accept the plan and could move the BSA’s bankruptcy to another chapter.