Following years of sexual abuse claims, the Boy Scouts of America has finally agreed on an $850 million settlement as part of their bankruptcy filings.
The sexual abuse cases against the organization have been ongoing for decades. However, in November multiple outlets reported that more than 84,000 former boy scouts had come forward with sexual abuse claims.
In February 2020, the onslaught of allegations against the BSA forced the organization to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As part of the proceedings, the enormous settlement has become one of the largest ever in American history pertaining to the offense at hand. In fact, the $850 million settlement could rise, according to lawyers on the case.
“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,” attorney Jordan Merson said to USA Today yesterday.
Two other attorneys representing the victims also spoke out about the case. Attorney Ken Rothweiler noted the historical significance of the massive settlement.
“This initial settlement of $850 million is the largest settlement of sexual abuse claims in United States history. I am pleased that both the BSA and their local councils have stepped up to be the first to compensate the survivors,” Rothweiler said in the same article.
In addition, attorney Paul Mones spoke about the case as well. He said the settlement’s compensation can’t make up for the damage already done by the BSA.
“There was never going to be an agreement that any survivor would be happy about,” Mones said. “What we attempted to do in this negotiation was, under the circumstances, and with all of the various competing interests, the best deal possible.”
Boy Scouts of America Share Statement On Settlement
According to the Washington Post, the Boy Scouts of America had more than $1 billion in assets. The BSA’s membership has dropped significantly since its peak of more than four million boy scouts in the 1970s. These days the numbers hover around one million participants.
PEOPLE shared a statement from the BSA about the settlement they received Friday morning. The organization says they have made “substantial progress” in the case. They hope it helps resolve past transgressions while also ensuring the group’s future.
“[BSA is] pleased to report that we have made substantial progress in our Chapter 11 case as part of our ongoing efforts to reach a global resolution that will equitably compensate survivors and ensure Scouting’s future by resolving past abuse cases for both the national organization and local councils,” the statement reads.
The Boy Scouts of America said the settlement is a “significant milestone and is the biggest step forward to date.” Yet they admitted there is still “much to be done” in regards to righting the wrongs of the organization. Part of that is attempting to work with survivors on the BSA’s amended Plan of Reorganization.
“However, with this encouraging and significant step forward, the BSA is wholeheartedly committed to working toward a global resolution,” the statement continued. “Our intention is to seek confirmation of the Plan this summer and emerge from bankruptcy late this year.”