February 20, 2020
By Alex LaCasse
Concord NH – The Daniel Webster Council responded to Tuesday’s news the Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by stating the move would have no effect on the programming offered to scouts across New Hampshire.
Daniel Webster Council (DWC) Scout Executive Jay Garee said the council would continue to provide “programming, financial, facility and administrative support to local units and individual scouts in New Hampshire,” in wake of BSA filing for bankruptcy.
“Daniel Webster Council… has not filed for bankruptcy,” Garee said. “Meetings and activities, district and council events, other scouting adventures and countless service projects are taking place as usual. In short, there is no change to the local scouting experience.”
However, BSA’s decision to file for bankruptcy casts the public spotlight on the more than 290 outstanding lawsuits against the organization, the vast majority filed by individuals claiming they were molested by scout volunteer leaders.
BSA officials said the decision to file for bankruptcy would pave the way to setting up a trust for victims of abuse to claim damages, similar to individual Catholic dioceses filing for bankruptcy protection in response to allegations of sexual abuse within their ranks.
“The BSA cannot undo what happened to you, but we are committed to supporting you and to doing everything in our power to prevent it from happening to others. It is a social and moral responsibility that I and the entire organization take extremely seriously,” Jim Turley, national chair of BSA, wrote in an open letter to victims, which ran as a full-page ad in Wednesday’s USA Today. “We believe that all victims should receive our support and compensation – and we have taken decisive action to make that possible.”
Mitchell Garabedian, whose Boston law firm represents victims of sexual abuse, is one of the 25 lawyers with the most outstanding lawsuits against BSA seeking damages for victims alleging they were molested during their time in scouting. He said BSA filed for bankruptcy in response to several states adopting legislation eliminating statutes of limitations with respect to victims of sexual assault pursuing civil damages, such as New York and New Jersey.
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