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10 more men sue Boy Scouts of Montana

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'Can't Wait' by Norman Rockwell

“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (2) – 5/6/20

Over the last six months, 15 Montana men have filed lawsuits against the Montana Council of Boy Scouts of America, alleging not only sexual abuse, while under the care and supervision of adult scout leadership, but that the council and Boy Scouts of America were negligent in protecting the children from such predatory behavior. According to the Missoulian, Andrew Van Arsdale, an attorney with Abused In Scouting, said his organization represents 3,000 men across the country with claims against the Boy Scouts of America, including the 10 men in Monday’s filing. The men in question allege abuse in troops in Libby, Babb, Great Falls, Helena, Hamilton, Sydney, Glasgow, Forsyth and Missoula. While the offenses in question would be technically outside the statute of limitations, in May 2019, Montana passed a law that permitted otherwise time-barred lawsuits against entities that should have known about child sexual abuse and allegedly failed to prevent it. The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection in February to consolidate nearly 300 lawsuits and other expected claims, and according to Van Arsdale, local chapters and the national organization should be considered the same entity. “It’s our expectation the bankruptcy process will play out by end of year, 2021,” Van Arsdale said. “So by the end of next year, we plan to have this matter totally resolved … The reason we filed the lawsuit, we want to make sure that Montana Council does something to one, compensate our clients that were hurt in their care, and two, change the practices to protect future children … If they are unwilling or unable to come to the bankruptcy court in Delaware, then whenever they’re done, we’ll still be able to litigate.”

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