Child Sex Abuse Claimants Demand Disclosures in Boy Scouts Case

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Former Boy Scouts who filed child sex abuse claims against the Boy Scouts are seeking more information about local councils’ role in a proposed settlement.

Later this month the judge in the ongoing Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy proceeding will rule on an request by former Bout Scouts for the organization to disclose information about how much its local councils will contribute to a settlement fund for abuse victims.

According to a report by Reuters, the former Scouts filed objections last week to the organization’s reorganization proposal. If the proceeding’s judge approves of the disclosure materials proposed by the Scouts, “the Boy Scouts will be able to send them to creditors who are entitled to vote on the proposed plan,” establishing a settlement trust funded by the organization’s cash, art holdings, insurers, and a minimum of $425 million provided by local councils.

Representatives for abuse victims have criticized the plan, with firms representing “small groups” of claimants arguing that the organization’s disclosure materials “need to include valuations of each local council’s assets, how many sex abuse claims have been lodged against each local council, and how much each council is contributing to the settlement trust in exchange for a release of abuse claims.” As the claimants’ representatives argue, these disclosures will provide information they need to decide “whether the contributions are worth giving up their claims against their local councils.” Reuters’ report states additional that the case’s judge, Laurie Selber Silverstein, received “more than 100 letters from former Scouts” last week, detailing their own experiences of alleged abuse in the organization.

One group of claimants said in a statement that the Boy Scouts’ proposal “is speculative at best and the disclosure statement does nothing to inform abuse survivors whether and when any contribution by the local councils might be realized,” calling for more details about “how claims will be valued and whether they will be able to contest the value that is assigned their claims.” Another group representing abuse victims criticized an agreement between the Boy Scouts and one of its insurers, which would contribute $650 million to the trust. If the Boy Scouts fail to receive sufficient backing for the current reorganization plan, per Reuters, it has said it might introduce another plan that excludes local councils, which would then likely “face lawsuits from former Scouts on their own.”

More information on the latest developments in the sex abuse claims against the Boy Scouts is available via Reuters.

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