Last week the Boy Scouts of America announced in a proposal filed with its bankruptcy court in Delaware that it hopes to reach a settlement agreement in the near future with attorneys representing child sex abuse victims who have filed claims against the group. According to the New York Post, the Boy Scouts proposed placing assets worth $250 million in a trust for child sex abuse survivors. Boy Scouts local councils would contribute another $500 million or more, with both the national organization and the local councils placing their insurance rights in the trust as well.
Under the proposal, this arrangement would exempt the local Boy Scouts councils from liability for other child sex abuse claims. The national organization said through its spokesperson that the proposal emerged from “intensive mediation with all stakeholders involved in our Chapter 11 case, including the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, which represents a large majority of claimants,” and that it hopes to conclude negotiations this summer and its bankruptcy proceedings this fall. Before that can happen, the child sex abuse survivors who have filed claims against the organization, of which there are currently about 84,000, will have to vote on the proposal, which will then need to be approved by the bankruptcy court.
The Post reports that it did not receive comments on the proposal from representatives for child sex abuse survivors. The Boy Scouts described it as “a significant step toward a global resolution of past abuse claims” that “incorporates a number of updates following constructive mediation, which we believe will garner significant support for confirmation.” As the Post notes, the Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy proceeding is the largest one ever filed over claims of child sex abuse, of which so many have emerged that Michigan’s sate attorney general recently announced a criminal investigation into the Boy Scouts. A settlement agreement between the Boy Scouts and child sex abuse victims would not preclude other criminal investigations into the organization.
More information on the Boy Scouts’ newly proposed settlement agreement is available via the New York Post.
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