Boy Scouts Consider Bankruptcy as Membership Falls and Cost of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Rise

A month after being slapped with a federal trademark lawsuit by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the Boy Scouts of America is considering bankruptcy as membership plummets and legal costs from defending itself against lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of boys mount.

Sources told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the BSA hired law firm Sidley Austin LLP for assistance with a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

And reacting to “news reports that will speculate about the BSA’s financial position” Wednesday, the BSA confirmed in a statement that it was “working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted.”

Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh noted in the statement that while there were “no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected” the organization continues to examine the best way to manage a desire to carry out their mission while compensating victims of sexual abuse at the same time.

“We have a social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and we also have an obligation to carry out our mission to serve youth, families and local communities through our programs,” Surbaugh said.

“Throughout our history we have taken proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse. I want to stress that at no time in our history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and we always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations,” he added.

The BSA is one of the largest Scouting organizations in the U.S. as well as one of the largest youth organizations in the country with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly 1 million adult volunteers.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair