Boy Scouts Says It's 'Devastated' After Over 92,000 Claims of Sexual Abuse in Bankruptcy Case
Andrew Van Arsdale, one of the lead attorneys for the legal team representing the claimants, told CNN that the number of reported claims was initially at 82,000 on Sunday, but rose to 92,700 just ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline for submitting claims on Monday.
Paul Mones, a lawyer who has been working on Boy Scouts cases for nearly 20 years, told Axios he expects the total number of reported cases to be "closer" to 100,000.
"This is a staggering number of cases, even beyond what I thought was out there," Mones reportedly said. "The scope of this is something I could never have contemplated."
According to CNN, claims include reports of forced sex, fondling, and exposure to pornography.
The BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of this year after facing a wave of decades-old sexual abuse claims, according to CNN and Axios.
In a statement to PEOPLE addressing the new claims, the BSA said, "We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who came forward. We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain."
"We intentionally developed an open, accessible process to reach survivors and help them take an essential step toward receiving compensation," the organization continued. "The response we have seen from survivors has been gut-wrenching. We are deeply sorry."
The statement added, "Now that all claims have been filed, the next step will be for third-party advisors to review the claims in order to uphold the integrity of the process, while the national organization works to develop a plan of reorganization to fund the proposed Trust. We are committed to working as expeditiously as possible to provide survivors of abuse with equitable compensation."
The initial bankruptcy filing said that the organization has more than $1 billion in assets, according to reports.
According to the Associated Press, a compensation fund will be created after the bankruptcy court proceedings to pay out settlements to abuse survivors whose claims are upheld.
The BSA was founded in 1901 and had over 4 million members at its peak in the 1970s. Now, the organization has less than 2 million members, per Axios.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.