The Boy Scouts of America has been no stranger to controversy and scandal over the years, especially as it pertains to child abuse allegations. Due to these serious issues, the Boy Scouts organization has been tasked with large settlement payments to nearly a dozen men who accused their scoutmaster of sexually assaulting them as children.

As it stands, the Boy Scouts’ insurance providers have been responsible for these payments, but recently those providers have been balking on payments, leaving the Boy Scouts of America in a difficult financial position. As a result, the nationally recognized organization may have to file for bankruptcy.

The Case of Thomas Hacker

Although these settlement costs are not the only reason for the Boy Scouts’ financial troubles, they are an enormous part. Back in the 1970’s, Thomas Hacker, a Boy Scout leader, was accused of assaulting the boys within his group. Though he was banned from the Boy Scouts, the organization did a poor job of enforcing that ban. As a result, Hacker reentered the organization as a scout leader and went on to abuse roughly 35 more boys.

In 1989, Hacker was convicted on five accounts of aggravated criminal assault against three of the boys in his group, all of which were between the ages of 11 and 13. He was sent to prison to serve two 50-year terms, though he died in 2018.

Potential Repercussions of Bankruptcy

If the Boy Scouts of America does choose to file for bankruptcy, they would file under Chapter 11, due to their status as an official organization. In doing so, they would be able to subdue the surmounting legal costs at their backs and move forward. However, according to Christopher Hurley, the attorney who represented many of the boys abused by Hacker, the bankruptcy in question would not be due to the settlement costs at all. He told NBC News, “We know how much coverage they have and we know their insurers are refusing to pay.”

In any case, it’s important to see those who commit sexual assault against children brought to justice. If you or someone you love was sexually abused by a scout leader, coach, priest, or other authority figure, our firm is here to provide compassionate, zealous legal representation. We understand how traumatizing this type of ordeal can be, and we want to make the legal process as straightforward and simple as possible. If you think you have a case, our firm is here to help.

Interested in learning more? Contact Wagner Reese to discuss your situation with our compassionate attorneys and find out how we can help you seek justice from your abuser.