Brooklyn man files lawsuit against former Boy Scouts leader

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BROOKLYN -

Hundreds of lawsuits are being filed by people who say they were sexually abused as children.

For more than four decades, Winfred Burrus says it was hard for him to come forward because just thinking back on what happened is incredibly traumatizing. The 57-year-old is one of hundreds of people filing lawsuits, with the help of his attorney Sanford Rubenstein, as part of the Child Victims Act.

The law allows survivors of all forms of sexual abuse in New York to take legal action that was barred up until now for one year.

In June, Burrus told News 12 that his scoutmaster sexually abused him in 1972. The lawsuit he filed Wednesday is against the Boy Scouts of America. He says the organization knew, or should have known, what was happening and should be held accountable for damages to the victim.

He and his attorney are grateful the opportunity is now available to garner some sort of justice.

"Not only will they receive compensation, but also by so many people who were sexually abused at a very young age, coming forward this tragedy in their lives, will not be repeated so that others suffer the way that they suffered. That's very important and one of the objectives of the Child Victims Act to prevent this from happening in the future,” says Rubenstein.

In addition to the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church and a number of hospitals are also expected to be named in more lawsuits.

News 12 reached out to the Boy Scouts for a statement and they said in part, "Today the Boy Scouts of America has a multi-layered process of safeguards that serve as barriers to abuse, including ongoing mandatory youth protection education for all volunteers, parents, and scouts."

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