Boy Scouts Agree on $2.6B Fund in Settlement

Total amount for sexual abuse victims could be the largest ever
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 10, 2022 5:42 PM CST
Boy Scouts Agree on $2.6B Fund in Settlement
A statue stands outside the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas.   (LM Otero)

Two years after filing for Chapter 11 protection while facing a flood of child sex abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America has reached a tentative settlement with an official bankruptcy committee representing more than 80,000 men who say they were molested as children by Scout leaders and others. The settlement announced Thursday comes two weeks before the start of a hearing at which a Delaware judge will consider arguments on whether she should confirm the BSA's reorganization plan, the AP reports. All told, the compensation fund would total more than $2.6 billion, which would be the largest aggregate sexual abuse settlement in US history.

The official abuse claimants committee, known as the tort claimants committee, was appointed by the US bankruptcy trustee to act in and represent the interests of all sexual abuse survivors. It has long maintained that the BSA's plan to compensate abuse victims was "grossly unfair," representing only a fraction of potential liabilities of insurers and local Boy Scout councils, and a fraction of what they can pay. But after weeks of discussions that extended late into the night Wednesday, the committee announced that it had negotiated changes to the BSA's plan. It is now recommending that abuse claimants who voted against it change their votes. Judge Laura Selber Silverstein will hold a case status hearing Friday.

The committee said it had accomplished its primary goals with the revised plan, including enhancing child protection measures for Boy Scouts going forward and ensuring independent governance of the settlement fund that will distribute payments to abuse claimants. The revised plan also provides abuse claimants the ability to sue insurance companies and local troop sponsoring organizations, such as churches and civic groups, that do not enter into settlements within one year of the reorganization plan taking effect. The BSA's former largest troop sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, agreed to contribute $250 million to the fund for claims involving the church. Congregations affiliated with the United Methodist Church have agreed to contribute $30 million.

(Read more Boy Scouts of America stories.)

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