CHICAGO (CBS) — The Boy Scouts of America is facing a growing number of sexual abuse and misconduct lawsuits. The organization is considering filing for bankruptcy, due in part, to the massive payouts from these cases.
More and more cases have come to light since 2012 when the Boy Scouts’ own documents known as the ineligible volunteer files were made public.
A former scout CBS 2 spoke with says there were already problems of sexual misconduct in his troop before he was molested, saying more should have been done to protect him.
“There’s still a major sense of shame,” the man, who asked not to be identified, said. “It will be a part of me until I die.”
He says he was sexually molested as a young Boy Scout in the early 1980’s by Chicago area Troop leader Gary Monroe, who’s currently serving time in Wisconsin on a separate child sexual assault case.
“I’m a 10-and-a-half-year-old kid, and there was one individual who took a liking to me,” he said. “Things quickly progressed to unacceptable points with no oversight and no one to intervene in anyway shape or form.”
Attorney Mark Brown filed a lawsuit on the survivor’s behalf.
“It was horrible, touching in every imaginable way that you can think of,” Brown said.
The case settled for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.
It’s one of hundreds the Boy Scouts are facing in Illinois alone. There are more than a dozen cases pending in connection to former infamous suburban troop leader Thomas Hacker.
The massive and mounting payouts could force the Boy Scouts to file for bankruptcy.
“The insurance companies that are now paying out the settlements are trying to now defend themselves and come up with defenses as to why they don’t have to pay these settlements,” Brown said.
The Boy Scouts’ insurance companies argue they shouldn’t have to pay claims of abuse that the Scouts could have reasonably prevented. Brown argues it’s possibly a move to delay litigation or reduce payout settlements.
“They need to step up and they need to pay these victims,” Brown said.
“This subject needs to be discussed so it doesn’t happen again,” the victim said. “If one kid is saved from it, I would just love to stop it from ever happening again.”
The move to file for bankruptcy amid sexual abuse allegations is one taken by several Catholic church diocese over the years, and – in recent months – USA Gymnastics.
The Boy Scouts CEO says they have a moral responsibility to compensate the victims while continuing operations for current members and are exploring all options.