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Boy Scouts Proposed Settlement for Sexual Abuse Survivors Falls Short, Lacks Transparency

Jul 6, 2021 | Firm News, Sexual Abuse

The Boy Scouts of America has announced a revised settlement for the approximately 82,500 survivors of sexual abuse who have filed claims against the organization. The proposed $850 million settlement – while more than the initial settlement presented in March 2021 – lacks transparency and falls far short of what abuse survivors deserve. In an interview with the Washington Post, PCVA partner Jason Amala, whose firm represents more than 1,000 survivors, said, “We’re very concerned about this latest proposal. It equals approximately $10,000 per abuse survivor. They’re not offering that much more than they were in the last proposal, and nobody’s explaining why every survivor should be happy about this.”

According to PCVA partner Michael Pfau, “The Boy Scouts’ latest plan raises serious concerns about whether the Boy Scouts and their local councils are paying fair compensation to abuse survivors. Disclosure statements from the organization indicate that their local councils have over $1.8 billion in unrestricted net assets, but their latest plan fails to disclose how much each council is contributing to this bankruptcy. While the Boy Scouts recently announced they are ‘committed’ to the local councils contributing a total of $600 million, the amount is literally 30 cents on the dollar of what they have said the local councils are able to pay.”

While other attorneys involved in the settlement suggest this is just a piece of the total compensation because insurance contributions have yet to be determined, Pfau urges caution. “To avoid paying full and fair contribution from their personal assets, we believe the Boy Scouts are trying to focus everyone’s attention on their insurance policies, but nowhere do the Boy Scouts explain why the local councils are keeping at least $1.3 billion in assets that the Boy Scouts acknowledge are unrestricted.”

The next step is for abuse survivors to raise their concerns about the lack of transparency by objecting to the Boy Scouts’ disclosure statement. PCVA hopes that the judge will make it clear to the Boy Scouts that they need to provide much more information regarding which claims will be settled, how much each settling party is paying, whether they are keeping significant assets that could be used to compensate survivors, and how their proposal will actually work. That way, survivors can make full and informed decisions on whether to vote in favor or oppose the plan.

Additional media coverage on the Boy Scouts of America’s proposed settlement.

Washington Post, “Boy Scouts of America settles for $850 million with more than 84,000 sexual abuse victims

USA Today, “Boy Scouts offer to compensate sexual abuse victims in historic $850 million bankruptcy settlement

Law.com, “Lawyers for Abuse Accusers Say $850 Million Settlement With Boy Scouts Is Just the Beginning of Compensation