Boy Scouts strike bankruptcy deal with all major abuse groups

The Boy Scouts of America reached an agreement with all major groups of victims of sexual abuse seeking compensation through the youth group’s bankruptcy proceedings, a milestone in its efforts to turn the page of its past failures to protect children.

The Boy Scouts are offering up to $ 850 million in cash and other assets to survivors, and ceding the insurance rights to a trust that would administer claims and distribute payments, according to an agreement filed in court on Thursday. The settlement “ensures we have the overwhelming support of the survivors” to come out of bankruptcy, the Boy Scouts said.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June that the youth group was set to strike a deal with a coalition of law firms representing the bulk of the roughly 84,000 men who have filed child abuse complaints. Other victim representatives have now signed on, greatly expanding support for the plan.

The Chapter 11 proposal will go to a creditors vote and requires approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., To go into effect. Absent from the proposed deal, insurance companies are potentially liable for victims’ claims under policies they sold to the Boy Scouts decades ago, when most of the alleged abuse occurred.

Insurers, including Century Indemnity Co. of Chubb Ltd., have said they have been excluded from closed-door talks over the proposed deal, according to court documents filed Thursday. They alleged that the Boy Scouts had “turned the pen” over to victims’ lawyers to define the terms under which abuse claims will be assessed and paid.

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