Mormon Church Claims
Our Experience with the Mormon Church: Over the past 20 years we have represented a large number of survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have claims against the Mormon Church. Many of our clients were sexually abused as a result of a Mormon-sponsored Boy Scout Troop, often by a Mormon Scout leader or volunteer. One of the lawyers featured on this website, Michael T. Pfau, is one of the only lawyers in the country who has obtained a jury verdict against the Mormon Church for a client who was sexually abused as a child.
If you were sexually abused by a Mormon volunteer or as a result of Mormon activities, including a Mormon Scout leader or as a result of a Mormon Boy Scout Troop, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation to learn your legal options. Even if you did not file a claim in the Boy Scout bankruptcy you may still be able to pursue a legal claim against the Mormon Church for the sexual abuse you suffered. However, the Boy Scout bankruptcy could impact your legal rights so please contact us as soon as possible.
Bankruptcy Judge Rejects Proposed Mormon Settlement : On July 29, 2022, the bankruptcy judge rejected the Mormon Church’s (“LDS”) settlement offer of $250M. Approximately 2,300 claimants in the bankruptcy identified the LDS as the organization who chartered their Scouting unit. However, the BSA estimates the real number of LDS-related claims may be somewhere between 7,500 and 10,000.
We objected to the proposed LDS settlement for a number of reasons. Most importantly, people who have a claim against LDS did not know if the $250 million would be shared by 2,300 claimants, 5,000 claimants, 7,500 claimants, or 10,000 claimants. If the $250 million was accepted, people with LDS claims would have to roll the dice and hope that the BSA’s estimates do not prove true. This is particularly true where it is reported that the Mormon Church has more than $100 billion in investments, which means it has more than enough money to fully and fairly compensate those who suffered abuse because of its wrongful conduct.
LDS was also trying to get the bankruptcy judge to force our clients and others to settle their “non-Scouting” claims against LDS. This means that someone who was sexually abused outside of Scouting would be forced to settle their claim even though it had nothing to do with Scouting. For example, if someone was sexually abused by an LDS leader or volunteer at their ward, the LDS wanted that claim to be settled and released as part of the Boy Scouts bankruptcy. The judge agreed with us and rejected that proposal.
If you think you may have a claim against the LDS Church, please contact us to learn your legal options, including what the judge’s decision means for you. Even if you did not file a claim in the bankruptcy you may still be able to seek compensation.
2,300+ Boy Scout Claims Against the Mormon Church: According to the official Tort Claimants’ Committee, approximately 2,300 abuse survivors who filed a claim in the Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy identified the Mormon Church as the organization who “chartered” their Scouting unit. A “charter” organization is the local organization who chartered or sponsored an individual Scouting unit. For example, local Mormon churches are called a “ward.” If a ward wanted to have a Boy Scout Troop, the ward would fill out an application with the Boy Scouts, pay the Boy Scouts a fee, and get approval to charter a Boy Scout Troop. The local Mormon ward was then responsible for selecting the Scout leaders and volunteers for the Troop, and was also responsible for supervising the children who participated in the Troop.
For a very long time, young Mormon boys were required to participate in Boy Scouts, which is likely why over 2,300 claimants in the bankruptcy identified the Mormon Church as the charter of their Scouting unit. In our experience, the charter organization is often the most liable party when a child was sexually abused in the Boy Scouts because the charter organization is usually the entity that would ignore a complaint or warning signs that a Scout leader might be sexually abusing children.