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How a Lawsuit Led to the Downfall of the Iconic Cadets Drum Corps

Cadets Drum Corps Lawsuit


The Cadets Drum Corps (formerly the Garfield Cadets) has been a staple of the marching arts scene since its founding in 1934. Having won their first of ten world championships in Drum Corps International in 1983, the Cadets have garnered a great deal of acclaim and respect all around the globe. This diverse and talented ensemble showcased the abilities of young musicians from more than 20 states and even other nations.


So no wonder why many moves have been made by the Cadets throughout its long and eventful history. They started their journey in New Jersey, made their way to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and settled in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 2023. Despite the difficulties that accompanied each relocation, the Cadets were able to establish strong roots in each new town they settled into, you know? Though, in particular, Erie welcomed them with wide arms, thanks to the enthusiastic support of the locals. But then we see something like this Cadets Drum Corps Lawsuit, and it seems pretty hard to believe, right? Well, let’s see what it was all about.


Why This Cadets Drum Corps Lawsuit Took Place?

When a lawsuit was brought against the Cadets on September 1, 2020, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, they encountered a huge obstacle. What was it? Well, there was a woman who claimed that an instructor sexually abused her while she was a member of the Garfield Cadets in 1982 and 1983 (at the tender age of sixteen) formed the basis of the complaint. That’s the very reason why the organization faced significant legal and financial difficulties as a result of this serious claim.


The nonprofit organization that runs the drum corps, Cadets Arts & Entertainment, refuted the claims and was trying to settle the case. But their plans ran into trouble when their insurance company declined to pay for their defense or any judgments that may have resulted from it, you know? The Cadets were thus left to bear a tremendous financial load independently.


Financial Fallout and Bankruptcy

Because of this very unfortunate lawsuit against them, the growing legal expenses became really huge for the Cadets. So how did it end? Well, they had to make the tough choice to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because their bills were too high and their future was too uncertain. In order to pay off creditors, assets are liquidated in this sort of bankruptcy, which typically results in the organization’s dissolution.


A range of $100,001 to $500,000 was calculated for the Cadets’ assets, and a similar range was used to estimate their liabilities. All in all, due to the Cadets’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they were unable to continue competing in marching arts events. For everyone associated with the organization, this huge and devastating decision signified the conclusion of a period.


The group was a “labor of love” and a life-changing experience, according to Vicki Ferrence Ray, the previous executive director who had a lengthy association with the Cadets. Her expression of extreme sadness highlighted the mental and emotional toll that the situation took on everyone who had served in the Cadets. It really was a hard time for them, and we witnessed how a lawsuit broke down the Cadets Drum Corps.

Parul is an experienced blogger, author and lawyer who also works as an SEO content writer, copywriter and social media enthusiast. She creates compelling legal content that engages readers and improves website visibility. Linkedin

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