New Jersey Likely to See an Increase in Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Litigation
On October 13, 2019, NJ.com reported that the New Jersey court system might soon see a significant increase in the number of victims filing lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America.
Why? Because New Jersey’s new law gives all victims of sexual abuse time to file lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that protected them. Previously, people sexually abused as children only had until the age of 20 to file lawsuits or two years after suppressed memories of abuse returned to them. The new statute of limitations allows:
- Anyone who was barred by the existing statute of limitations has two years to file a lawsuit, regardless of when their alleged sexual abuse occurred. These victims have from December 1, 2019, to November 30, 2021, to file their claim in court.
- Adults who were abused as minors have until the age of 55 to file lawsuits against their abusers, or within seven years “after they say they discovered emotional and psychological problems linked to their abuse.”
For victims of sexual abuse by the Boy Scouts of America who are residents of New Jersey, there is now ample time to try and collect damages for injuries related to your abuse. If your sexual abuse occurred in New Jersey and you live in another state, you may also be able to take advantage of this new timeline for filing lawsuits.
Out-of-Staters Abused by Boy Scouts May Be Able to Take Advantage of the NJ Statute of Limitations
NJ.com predicts that there might be “a flood of lawsuits filed by out-of-state Boy Scout sexual abuse victims in Superior Court in Middlesex County” once the new state law becomes effective December 1, 2019.
“Though the new state law wasn’t designed for victims outside of New Jersey to file lawsuits, attorneys around the country have been saying they have been lining up alleged Boy Scout victims to file suits in Middlesex County Superior Court because the Boy Scouts of America headquarters was located in Fidelity Plaza off Route 1 in North Brunswick from 1954 to 1978.”
These attorneys allege having the headquarters in New Jersey is sufficient for the victims of sexual abuse to file lawsuits in the state. They suggest that:
- Policies that allowed boys to be sexually abused by troop leaders and volunteers were developed at New Jersey headquarters
- Files detailing decades of abuse allegations and complaints against the Boy Scouts were kept at the New Jersey headquarters
One attorney from Seattle summed-up their position on why New Jersey is the right venue for these lawsuits: “The negligent decision making by the Scouts was made in New Jersey.”
NJ Statute of Limitations Allows Previously Barred Cases to Proceed
For out of state victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse, the New Jersey statute of limitations can be their only chance to face their abusers and try to collect damages. Many of their claims are barred in the states in which they live or places where the alleged sexual abuse occurred. Time will tell how the court will handle the influx of cases against the Boy Scouts of America in New Jersey. Attorneys are optimistic that judges will agree that the cases belong here, even if the actual sexual abuse occurred elsewhere.
Contact Our Lawyers Handling New Jersey Boy Scout Sexual Abuse Cases
Victims in and out of New Jersey plan to file sexual abuse lawsuits against the Boy Scouts on or soon after December 1. If you were abused by a boy scout troop leader or boy scout volunteer, call Alonso Krangle, LLP, for information about how you can file a lawsuit and collect damages for your injuries. For a free evaluation of your boy scout, sexual abuse claim, call 800-403-6191.