July 2 (UPI) — The Boy Scouts of America have reached an $850 million settlement with tens of thousands of people who sued the organization saying they were sexually abused while under its care, according to court documents late Thursday.
The settlement follows the Boy Scouts of America filing for bankruptcy in February 2020 to restructure its finances and compensate those who were harmed while members of the 110-year-old organization.
The agreement was announced in a court filing entered late Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware concerning resolutions met with official and major creditors as part of its bankruptcy.
The deal states that the plan has “significant” support of those representing about 60,000 abuse survivors, and provides a framework to resolve their complaints.
The agreement is the result of months of “intensive negotiations” between BSA and creditors, the document says.
“This agreement ensures that we have the overwhelming support of survivors for the BSA’s proposed Plan of Reorganization, which is a key step in the BSA’s path toward emerging from bankruptcy,” the organization said in a statement emailed to UPI.
“Bringing these groups together marks a significant milestone and is the biggest step forward to date as the BSA works toward our dual imperatives of equitably compensating survivors of abuse and preserving the mission of scouting.
“As part of this agreement the national organization has agreed to contribute assets with up to $250 million in value to a trust that will provide compensation to survivors of abuse.”
Ken Rothweiler, one of the attorneys representing more than 16,800 people suing the organization, said he’s “pleased that both the Boy Scouts of America and their local councils have stepped up to be the first to compensate the survivors.
“We will now negotiate with the insurers and sponsoring and chartering organizations who have billions of dollars in legal exposure, of which a substantial portion is necessary to fairly compensate the survivors,” he said, according to NBC News.