The monumental filing seeks to reckon with all abuse claims at once in a final court process. By seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the national umbrella of the Boy Scouts signaled that it hopes to survive after compensating what are expected to be thousands of victims.
The move, while expected, is unprecedented. Never before has such a large and established nationwide youth nonprofit filed for bankruptcy. The organization filed the court papers Tuesday just after midnight local time in Delaware, where the case will work its way through a federal bankruptcy court.
The path to the proceedings can be traced back a decade to Portland, victims' lawyers say. A Multnomah County jury awarded $19.9 million damages to a Portland man abused as a Scout. It was the largest verdict against the group in its long history. The trial also triggered the public release of internal files kept for decades that revealed the identifies and crimes of hundreds of known abusers.