- The Boy Scouts of America may declare bankruptcy soon,according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy may allow them to stall the sexual harassment lawsuits against the organisation and settle with the victims.
The Boy Scouts of America is considering bankruptcy while it’s fending off numerous sexual harassment lawsuits, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.
Bankruptcy would offer the organisation some legal relief. It’s currently battling several lawsuits filed by former scouts who allege that staff members or volunteers sexually abused or harassed them. A bankruptcy filing may allow the organisation to ask judges to stall those lawsuits as it goes through the Chapter 11 process. During that period, it could potentially settle with the victims who sued.
In a statement provided to INSIDER, BSA Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said the organisation was committed to compensating “victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting” and that it was working to stop future abuse.
“We care deeply about all victims of child sex abuse and we are steadfast in our belief that one incident of child abuse is one too many,” Surbaugh wrote. “We sincerely apologise to anyone who was harmed during their time in our programs.”
Boy Scout leadership has hired the law firm Sidley Austin law firm to handle its possible Chapter 11 filing, according to the Journal. The law firm didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
The sexual abuse allegations against the Boy Scouts of America stretches back decades, but the issue has become more pressing in recent years, partly because of the organisation’s slump in membership. Earlier this year, the organisation announced it would begin accepting girls and change its name to Scouts BSA in a bid to attract more members.
This post has been updated with a statement from the Boy Scouts of America.
Correction: A previous headline for this article said that the Boy Scouts of America considered using bankruptcy to stop sexual harassment lawsuits. We have removed the language.
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