Judge Approves Boy Scouts’ $2.46 Billion Reorganization Plan

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a $2.46 billion reorganization plan proposed by the Boy Scouts of America that would allow it to continue operating by compensating tens of thousands of men who say they were sexually abused as children while involved in Scouting.

Although legal hurdles remain, Delaware Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein’s ruling marked a major milestone for the BSA, which sought bankruptcy protection more than two years ago to stave off a flood of lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. by Scout leaders and volunteers.

Attorneys for some of the victims said the amount a survivor can receive from the bankruptcy plan depends on many factors related to the alleged abuse. The plan calls on the BSA and its local councils, along with established insurance companies and troop-sponsoring organisations, including Catholic foundations and parishes, to contribute to a survivor fund. In return, these groups will be protected from future lawsuits over Boy Scout-related abuse allegations.

More than 80,000 men have filed claims saying they were abused as children by troop leaders across the country.

“Credit to the courageous survivors for this breakthrough in child safety and Scouting,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm has represented more than 800 survivors of Boy Scout abuse.

Anderson said most of the $2.46 billion is to be paid to survivors, but some funds will be placed in a trust to continue litigation against unsettled entities, primarily insurance companies.

It will likely take months for any of the abuse claimants to receive compensation.

Anderson said the settlement has drawn mixed reactions from his clients. Many are proud to have stood up and called for a cleanup of the Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts, while others feel dismissed because the organization “hid behind the statute of limitations” in some states.

The Boy Scouts of America said it was pleased the court approved its reorganization plan.

“We continue to be extremely grateful to the survivor community, whose bravery, patience and willingness to share their experiences has been instrumental in shaping this Plan,” the organization said in a statement.

The Scouts said survivors’ perspectives and priorities “will be rooted in BSA programming moving forward.”

The BSA also said that because some parties have said they plan to appeal the order, the organization will then begin an appeals process to emerge from Chapter 11, “which will allow survivors to be fairly compensated and maintain its mission.” Scouting for future generations.”

A federal district judge must sign Silberstein’s ruling.

When it filed for bankruptcy, BSA faced about 275 lawsuits and was aware of several other potential cases. More than 80,000 abuse claims were eventually filed as part of the bankruptcy.

Lawyers for BSA’s insurers argued early on that the huge volume of claims was an indication of fraud and the result of aggressive solicitation of customers by solicitors and for-profit claims aggregators. While some of these insurers later negotiated settlements, other insurers continued to oppose the plan. They argued that procedures for distributing funds from the compensation trust would violate their contractual rights to challenge claims and set a dangerous precedent for mass litigation.

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Associated Press writer Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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