The Boy Scouts of America — The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) declared bankruptcy in February 2020 in order to restructure and establish a compensation fund for sexual assault victims.
Several complaints were lodged against the organization, alleging years of abuse by scout leaders and volunteers.
As survivors sought accountability, the BSA’s sexual abuse concerns garnered national attention.
The Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy filing allowed them to stop litigation, compensate victims, and emerge as a more viable organization.
The Boy Scouts of America apologized to victims and acknowledged the need for reform after failing to safeguard youngsters.
The organization is still providing vital programs to youngsters all around the country.
The Boy Scouts of America said on Wednesday that it will begin paying sexual assault victims following its bankruptcy procedures.
As part of a deal involving more than 82,000 survivors of abuse, the organization will pay $2.4 billion from a Victims Compensation Trust.
During the organization’s bankruptcy reorganization, the court formed the Victims Compensation Trust.
The Boy Scouts of America’s Chief Scout Executive, President, and CEO, Roger Mosby, issued the following statement:
“This is a significant milestone for the BSA as we emerge from a three-year financial restructuring process with a global resolution approved with overwhelming support of more than 85% of the survivors involved in the case.”
“Our hope is that our Plan of Reorganization will bring some measure of peace to survivors of past abuse in Scouting, whose bravery, patience and willingness to share their experiences has moved us beyond words.”
A Delaware federal bankruptcy court judge accepted the Boy Scouts of America’s restructuring plan in September 2022.
“These boys – now men – seek and deserve compensation for the sexual abuse they suffered years ago,” said Chief Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein.
“Abuse which has had a profound effect on their lives and for which no compensation will ever be enough.”
“They also seek to ensure that to the extent BSA survives, there is an environment where sexual abuse can never again thrive or be hidden from view.”
According to the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, a group comprised of more than two dozen law firms representing more than 70,000 cases, the final clearance was momentous for tens of thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault.
“The confirmation of this Plan makes closure possible and some measure of justice tangible for people whose voices have been silenced for far too long,” said Coalition representatives.
“The court found that the BSA’s liability for abuse claims is most likely between $2.4 billion and $3.6 billion, and approved settlements that will provide for initial funding of $2.279 billion to survivors: $78 million from the BSA, $515 million from local councils, $30 million from the United Methodist Church, and $1.656 billion from settling insurers.”
Aside from the monetary settlement agreements, the restructuring plan asks for the development of safety measures and safeguards for current (and future) generations of Scouts.
Praise for the decision
Attorney and Coalition co-founder Adam Slater praised the court for bringing survivors closer to justice.
“After years of protracted bankruptcy proceedings and decades of suffering in silence, tens of thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault will now receive some tangible measure of justice,” said Slater.
“With this decision, the plan will now become effective, and the Trust will be able to begin distribution of the historic $2.45B settlement fund.”
“Even more important, it means that the safety measures and protections for current and future Scouts included in the Plan will also be put into place,” he added.
“And we know that for many survivors, this has been the highest priority.”
Since then, the Boy Scouts of America have put in place a number of safeguards to prevent such sexual assault.
Among the protocols are the following:
- A process of screening incoming adult leaders and personnel that involves a criminal background check.
- A policy requiring the presence of two youth-protection trained individuals around children during scouting events.
The proposal would also restrict adults from dealing with children alone in one-on-one conditions.