A long-sought agreement between the Boy Scouts of America and attorneys representing tens of thousands of survivors of child sex abuse would create an $850 million compensation fund for the victims. According to a report on the agreement by the Associated Press, this agreement “would mark one of the largest sums in U.S. history involving cases of sexual abuse.”
The restructuring support agreement filed in bankruptcy court last week covers the Boy Scouts of America, local BSA councils, 60,000 victims of child sex abuse, and attorneys representing potential future claimants. It caps off months of “intensive negotiations” between the parties, and efforts by the Boy Scouts to put a stop to child sex abuse lawsuits against it as the organization pursued bankruptcy.
As the Associated Press notes, there remain “disagreements between attorneys representing abuse victims and those representing BSA’s insurers.” For instance, the Boy Scouts has been accused by some of its insurers attorneys of “allowing attorneys for abuse victims to rewrite the BSA’s restructuring plan to favor their clients.”
The insurers’ attorneys are reportedly seeking to ensure that the parties do not make decisions concerning them “without their input.” The Boy Scouts’ attorneys have also asked the court to declare that the organization does not need to seek the court’s approval “of a previously announced settlement with The Hartford, one of the BSA’s insurers,” to contribute $650 million into the compensation fund for child sex abuse victims.
Attorneys for victims have said that they would oppose a restructuring plan including the Hartford settlement contribution, as they believe Hartford’s liability may be in the billions of dollars. The Boy Scouts, meanwhile, “Scouts have said that between $2.4 billion and $7.1 billion, including insurance rights, might be available for abuse victims,” according to the AP
A joint statement released by attorneys for child sex abuse victims and attorneys for potential future claimants praised the settlement agreement for “providing meaningful compensation to the victims, and holding the Boy Scouts’ insurers to the terms of the insurance policies purchased by the Boy Scouts and their affiliates over many decades.”
More information on the Boy Scouts’ settlement agreement with child sex abuse victims is available via the Associated Press.
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