The Boy Scouts, who were slammed with a slew of lawsuits last year, can now move forward with a proposed reorganization plan according to the ruling.
Following approval by a US bankruptcy court, the Boy Scouts of America can embark into a major $850 million settlement agreement resolving thousands of child sex abuse claims.
The Boy Scouts will be permitted to move on with a proposed reorganization plan after Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein of Delaware issued her ruling on Thursday, allowing them to exit bankruptcy by the end of the year.
After being struck with a deluge of sexual assault cases, the Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2020.
The judge granted the BSA’s request to enter into an agreement involving 250 local Boy Scout councils and lawyers representing 70,000 men who claim they were sexually molested as children after three days of hearing and arguments.
The Boy Scouts and local governments will each donate $850 million to a fund for abuse victims, according to the agreement.
Insurers who granted coverage to the Boy Scouts and local councils, lawyers representing thousands of other abuse victims, and numerous religion denominations that sponsor local Boy Scout troops were all opposed to the accord.
The Boy Scouts were denied permission to pay millions of dollars in legal costs and expenses to law firms representing tens of thousands of abuse victims, according to the judge.
The BSA requested authorization under the agreement to withdraw from an April arrangement in which insurance company The Hartford agreed to pay $650 million into the fund for abuse claimants in exchange for being released from any further liabilities. Silverstein declined the request.
The Boy Scouts agreed to donate up to $250 million in cash and property to a fund for victims of child sexual abuse under the terms of the agreement. Local governments, which administer Boy Scout troops on a day-to-day basis, would pay $600 million.
In addition, the national organization and local governments would provide the victims’ fund their rights to Boy Scout insurance plans. In exchange, they would be exempt from future liability for allegations of abuse.
The judge overturned two contentious clauses in the accord that had been highlighted by opponents.
The Boy Scouts are expected to continue fighting over the ultimate bankruptcy plan unless they can strike an agreement with insurance.
Source: AL JAZEERA