West Palm Beach Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Claim Lawyers
Over the past several weeks, more than 200 individuals have come forward with sexual abuse allegations against members of the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent youth development organizations, providing programs for young people to learn survival skills, the value of teamwork and more importantly, to instill ethical and moral values. However, certain organizations such as the BSA can unfortunately provide an opportunity for perpetrators in a position of power (such as scoutmasters) to groom and exploit victims who are regularly taught to respect and follow their guidance. When that trust is broken and violated, it can be especially harmful to victims of sexual abuse.
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a scoutmaster or another member of the BSA, please do not hesitate to contact Gordon & Partners for legal help. Our West Palm Beach boy scouts sexual abuse lawyers are currently investigating and exploring legal action against the BSA for cases involving sexual abuse. We understand the physical, mental, and emotional pain victims face after experiencing abuse. We are committed to seeking maximum compensation on behalf of our clients for the damages they have suffered. We have helped many injury victims and their families throughout the West Palm Beach area recover fair compensation.
Contact us to learn more about your legal options. We offer free consultations where we can review your case and answer any questions you may have to make an informed decision about what to do next. If you decide to move forward, there are no upfront costs or fees. You only pay for our services if you recover fair compensation.
Our team is here for you. Call 1 (855) 722-2552 right now.
Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Allegations
The Boy Scouts have faced numerous sexual abuse allegations for the past seven decades. To date, the number of leaders and volunteers accused of sexual abuse has grown to nearly 3,000 more than previously known. According to recently released court documents, more than 7,800 former leaders and troop volunteers have allegedly sexually abused over 12,000 victims between 1944 to 2016.
Some of the victims involved are still underage, adolescents or young adults, while the majority have kept their sexual abuse hidden for decades. It is not uncommon for victims of sexual abuse to remain silent and not come forward out of fear of retaliation or shame about what happened. Many acts of sexual abuse often go unpunished for years and years because perpetrators use their position of authority to intimidate or threaten their victims or are protected by leaders within the organization.
A trio of law firms are seeking to uncover unidentified sexual abusers and help prevent future abuse. So far, this group of attorneys has exposed 150 alleged perpetrators that were never publicly accused. Only a handful of new allegations, which account for 90 percent of the cases, identify previous perpetrators of sexual abuse.
Records also indicate that the BSA has long since kept track of suspected and known sexual abusers in its volunteer screening database. This database lists thousands of leaders and volunteers who have been removed or banned for suspected abuse. However, what is even more troubling is the fact that the organization has rarely reported these individuals to the police. This has drawn additional accusations against the Boy Scouts for covering up incidents of sexual abuse. The organization is now facing hundreds of cases for alleged sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse can take a tremendous toll on both victims and their families. At Gordon & Partners, we cannot begin to imagine how much pain, frustration and uncertainty victims of sexual abuse go through on a daily basis. A West Palm Beach boy scouts sexual abuse lawyer will work towards building the strongest case possible against those responsible to try to ensure that you obtain the compensation you are entitled.
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Settlements Reached in Sexual Abuse Cases
Over the last several years, there have been a number of settlements in high-profile cases involving sexual abuse allegations against the Boy Scouts. A few of these perpetrators within the organization have been held accountable and/or agreed to pay millions in settlements.
These settlements include the following:
April 2010 - $18.5 Million
A jury in Portland, Oregon ordered the BSA to pay $18.5 million in damages to a man who was sexually abused by a former assistant scoutmaster in the 1980’s. It was determined that the organization was negligent in allowing the perpetrator to be anywhere near the scouts after admitting to molesting 17 young men in 1983. So far, this has been the largest settlement against the organization.
December 2014 - $7 Million
Another jury in Waterbury, Connecticut awarded a former boy scout $7 million in compensatory damages for the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his troop leader in the 1970’s. The perpetrator remained a troop leader with the organization up until his conviction.
November 2017 – Undisclosed Amount
A settlement was reached for three former members of the Explorer program who were sexually abused by their scout leader nearly 40 years ago. The program, which is a part of the BSA, has included boys and girls since 1971. The official settlement amount remains confidential, although each plaintiff was seeking punitive damages capped at $10 million.
The boy scouts sexual abuse lawyers in West Palm Beach understand how difficult it can be to report sexual abuse. You may be feeling scared or even embarrassed, but you should know that you are not alone. We are prepared to fight for your best interests every step of the way. Our firm is dedicated to defending injured victims like you.
Contact Gordon & Partners right away by calling 1 (855) 722-2552.
What To Do If You Suspect Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is often a crime that goes undetected. In Florida, sexual abuse is defined as the unwanted force of sexual activity on another individual through coercion or threats. Sexual abuse may include inappropriate touching or acting in a sexual manner toward someone.
If you believe an adolescent or a young adult is a victim of abuse, you may be unsure about what to do or how to respond to the situation.
Below are three steps to take if you suspect sexual abuse:
Step One: Recognize the Warning Signs
There are several behavioral and physical changes that could indicate sexual abuse. From a behavioral standpoint, these include refusing any physical contact, regressive behaviors such as thumb sucking, refusing to bathe or bathing too much, acting sexually inappropriate for his or her age, or having trouble sleeping. Physically, a victim could have bruising or swelling in sensitive areas or bloody clothing and sheets.
Victims of sexual abuse could also be using certain words or phrases that are not age-appropriate or suddenly be less talkative than before.
Step Two: Talk to the Victim
It is important that you choose a safe space where the victim is comfortable and avoid talking to him or her in front of or near the person you suspect is causing the abuse. Keep a casual, non-threatening tone to help keep the victim at ease. He or she is more inclined to open up and talk freely. This includes talking to the victim directly, using words that he or she will understand.
Be careful to avoid judgmental statements and questions as well as placing blame. Simply reassure the victim and let him or her know that you are concerned for his or her well-being. Just keep in mind that this conversation is a very scary experience for the victim. You may not know if he or she has been threatened into staying silent.
Step Three: Report it to Authorities
Before you report the abuse to authorities, make sure the victim knows that you are going to talk to someone else who can help. The victim should be kept in a safe environment and if you are concerned about his or her safety, make sure to let the authorities know. Be prepared to identify the victim, the nature of the sexual abuse and your relationship to the victim.
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Contact Gordon & Partners for Legal Help Now
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse within the BSA, contact our West Palm Beach boy scouts sexual abuse lawyers now. We are prepared to investigate your case and pursue the compensation you deserve. While no amount of money can change what happened, holding the perpetrator or organization accountable for abuse can be a significant part of the healing process.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation with our firm. We provide our services on contingency, which means we only get paid if you win and receive compensation.