Boy Scouts of America reaches $850 million settlement with groups representing about 60,000 abuse survivors

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The settlement, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy court in Delaware,  "is the largest settlement of sexual abuse claims in United States history," attorney Ken Rothweiler, a representative of approximately 16,000 survivors told USA Today.

 

BSA released their own statement concerning the proposes settlement saying, "Bringing these groups together marks a significant milestone and is the biggest step forward to date as the BSA works toward or dual imperatives of equitably compensating survivors of abuse and preserving the mission of scouting."

 

"I am pleased that both the BSA and their local councils have stepped up to be the first to compensate the survivors," he said.

 

Another attorney Jordan Merson said, "It is important that people see this dollar amount, and know this is not the end this is just the beginning. There are billions of dollars in insurance money, and the fight to get that money is continuing."

 

While the settlement amount proposed is $850 million, those involved with the case are anticipating that the settlement will exceed $1 billion.

 

Some of the insurance companies that represent BSA though, are crying foul saying that they were excluded from the settlement negotiations.

 

"With only the fox guarding the hen-house, the outcome is utterly at odds with what BSA itself asserted was necessary for a confirmable (bankruptcy) plan," American International Group Inc., Chubb Ltd., Travelers Cos, and other insurers said.

 

An earlier settlement had seen BSA paying $80 million in an unsecured promissory note into a trust fund for the victims, but changes in the Chapter 11 filings saw that amount change from $120 million to $250 million under the current arrangement.

 

Under the current proposal, the BSA's more than 250 local councils will also contribute $600 million into the fund for abuse victims, and at least half of their contributions would be in cash.

 

In exchange for those contributions to the trust fund, BSA and local councils would be released from liability.

 

Sponsoring organizations can also find release from liability for contributing to the trust fund and transferring insurance rights according to Fox.

 

A hearing for this case is scheduled for July 20.

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