10.29.2020 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.
The Boy Scouts of America “(BSA”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 18, 2020 in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in the State of Delaware. This filing apparently occurred because of sexual abuse claims made against BSA.
This bankruptcy and these sexual abuse claims could also affect churches and other organizations that have:
- held a Charter for a Boy Scout Troop
- allowed a troop to meet in their building
- in other ways helped a troop (i.e., through volunteers)
Boy Scout Troop “charter” holders or places that host Boy Scout Troops may find themselves included in cases seeking damages for sexual abuse or other claims. These charter holders and hosts could lose whatever rights they might have against BSA related to such claims if they do not file a proof of claim with the Bankruptcy Court. The deadline for filing a Proof of Claim filing in the BSA bankruptcy case is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 16, 2000.
What Could Happen if My Organization Doesn’t File a Claim in Time?
Without filing a General Proof of Claim by the above deadline, a charter holder or host would presumably lose whatever rights it might have to seek contribution or indemnification from BSA in any sexual abuse claims that might be asserted against it. A charter holder or host would also lose its ability to vote on BSA’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.
Simply put, if a Boy Scout Troop Charter holder or host does not file a proof of claim by the deadline, the organization may have no recourse against the Boy Scouts of America if any Scout sexual abuse claims are brought against it.
A General Proof of Claim and instructions for its use and filing form may be found here.
Organizations that hold a Boy Scout Troop Charter or host a Boy Scout Troop should consult their attorney for guidance about this matter and for advice about filing a General Proof of Claim.
Please contact us if you need advice about filing a Proof of Claim or have any questions regarding the potential impact of BSA’s bankruptcy on your Church.