Judge Approves $2.46B Plan in Abuse Case Against Scouts

More than 80,000 men have filed claims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2022 6:50 PM CDT
Scouts' $2.46B Bankruptcy in Abuse Case Clears Judge
A Boy Scout uniform, photographed in 2013.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a $2.46 billion reorganization plan proposed by the Boy Scouts of America, which would allow it to keep operating while compensating tens of thousands of men who say they were sexually abused as children while involved in Scouting. Although legal hurdles remain, the ruling by Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein in Delaware marked an important milestone for the BSA, which sought bankruptcy protection more than two years ago to stave off a flood of lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by Scout leaders and volunteers. Opponents are expected to file an appeal, the AP reports.

Lawyers for some of the victims said the amount an individual survivor may receive from the bankruptcy plan depends on multiple factors relating to the abuse reported. The plan calls for the BSA and its local councils, along with settling insurance companies and troop sponsoring organizations, including Catholic institutions and parishes, to contribute to a fund for survivors. In return, those groups would be shielded from future lawsuits over Scout-related abuse allegations. More than 80,000 men have filed claims saying they were abused as children by troop leaders around the country. "Credit to the courageous survivors that this breakthrough in child and scouting safety has been achieved," said attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm represented more than 800 Boy Scout abuse survivors.

It's the largest sexual abuse case against an organization in US history, per USA Today. The amount shrank from an earlier deal because a $250 million settlement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was dropped. The judge said she was concerned that the terms would protect the church from claims of abuse that didn't involve Scouting. Anderson said the settlement has drawn mixed reactions from his clients. Many are proud they stood up and demanded a cleanup of the Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts, while others feel like they were dismissed because the organization "hid behind the statute of limitations" in some states. Silberstein's ruling needs the approval of a federal district judge to move ahead.

(Read more Boy Scouts of America stories.)

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