The Associated Press reported last week on a new development in the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy proceedings: The Hartford, an insurance company, has said it will pay a sum of $650 million into a settlement trust for child sexual abuse victims who have filed claims against the Boy Scouts. The Hartford will in turn be released “from any obligation under policies it issued to the BSA and the councils dating back to 1971,” according to the AP, which says this plan was filed with a bankruptcy court in Dover, Delaware on Friday, April 16th by mediators working on the bankruptcy proceedings with the Boy Scouts of America, victims of child sexual abuse, and “other parties.”
If the Boy Scouts of the settlement trust “enters into an agreement with another insurer, Century Indemnity Company,” the report says, the plan will reduce The Hartford’s contribution so long as Century’s contribution “is less than two times The Hartford’s.” In a statement regarding the agreement, the Boy Scouts of America said in part: “Our agreement with The Hartford is an encouraging step towards achieving a global resolution that will promote the [Boy Scouts’] efforts to equitably compensate survivors and continue the mission of Scouting.”
Representatives for victims of child sexual abuse were displeased with the settlement agreement, according to the AP, with one attorney stating that the agreement was “outrageous” and that “Their real liability is in the billions of dollars.” This attorney went on to accuse the Boy Scouts of “paying lip service to their supposed understanding and concern for their horrific legacy of sex abuse.”
An attorney representing a group of victims called the torts claimants committee told the Associated Press that a minimum of 24,000 child sexual abuse claims, but likely more, fall under the umbrella of The Hartford’s coverage, estimating that the insurer’s liability was “$8 billion for 24,000 claims,” or more than ten times its proposed contribution. According to the tort claimants committee, the 84,000 child sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts are worth closer to $103 billion.
More information on the latest developments in the child sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts is available via the Associated Press.