Update: On August 19, 2021, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein approved the Boy Scouts of America’s reorganization plan. The plan includes $850 million to resolve thousands of child sexual abuse claims and compensate survivors.
The national scouting organization still needs approval from its insurers and creditors, including abuse survivors. The organization currently faces roughly 82,000 sexual abuse claims filed through the bankruptcy court.
In June 2021, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) proposed a major settlement agreement during bankruptcy proceedings. The organization offered $850 million to compensate survivors of Boy Scouts sexual abuse. Insurance companies may end up paying additional funds to survivors as well.
Non-monetary compensation is also included in the agreement. The bankruptcy settlement will not be final until it is approved at the hearing on July 29, 2021. The hearing was originally scheduled for July 20, 2021. However, the judge postponed it to give opponents time to gather data for arguments against the settlement.
Financial Settlement Double Initial Proposal To Survivors
In June, the Boy Scouts’ legal team reached an $850 million settlement agreement. This is notably double the initial amount proposed to survivors.
Local councils may end up paying anywhere between $300 million and $600 million to abuse survivors. In order to raise funds, some local councils have listed real estate property, such as campsites, for sale. In addition, the settlement agreement contains non-monetary actions, including:
- The Boy Scouts will establish youth protection measures.
- The Boy Scouts will establish a process for information sharing regarding abuse claims.
- The Boy Scouts will establish a reporting system for abuse.
- The Boy Scouts will establish a Child Protection Committee.
The youth organization claims its ultimate goal is to offer justice to survivors and protect current members. The Boy Scouts released a statement, describing this agreement as an important step for both the survivors and the organization.
“This agreement ensures that we have the overwhelming support of survivors for the BSA’s proposed Plan of Reorganization, which is a key step in the BSA’s path toward emerging from bankruptcy.”
History Of Lawsuits Against The Boy Scouts
More than 90,000 men have filed sexual abuse lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America. Abuse allegations against scout leaders and volunteers span several decades. The oldest allegations date back as far as the 1940s.
In December 2020, the national scouting organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to handle the growing number of abuse claims. Although the bankruptcy will compensate survivors, it could also potentially protect the assets of the national organization and local councils.
If the judge approves the settlement agreement, it would begin holding the Boy Scouts accountable for longstanding sexual abuse. Survivors may feel a sense of closure and justice for the past abuses they suffered. The proposed non-monetary actions may further protect current and future members of the organization.
After the November 16, 2020 bar date, no further claims of childhood sexual abuse (occurring before the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy) can be filed against the Boy Scouts.
Consequentially, The Meneo Law Group is no longer accepting new clients claiming sexual abuse at the hands of the Boy Scouts of America.
Chase, R. (2021, July 7). Judge sets July hearing on Boy Scouts settlement agreement. The Associated Press.
Chutchian, M. (2021, August 19). U.S. judge signs off on $850 million Boy Scouts sex abuse settlement. Reuters.
Crary, D., Chase, R. (2021, July 2). Boy Scouts bankruptcy plans anger some, welcomed by others. The Associated Press.
DeGregory, P. (2021, July 6). Boy Scouts selling NY campgrounds to help pay settlement with abuse victims. New York Post.
Romo, V. (2021, July 2). Boy Scouts Of America Reaches Historic Settlement With Sexual Abuse Survivors. NPR.
Wamsley, L., Goodwyn, W. (2020, February 18). Boy Scouts Of America Files For Bankruptcy As It Faces Hundreds Of Sex-Abuse Claims. NPR.