Sex Abuse Victims Ask Permission To File Its Own Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Plan
In March, the Boy Scouts of America filed a bankruptcy plan to set aside $300-million to evaluate and settle sexual abuse claims. Lawyers for victims said that amount was “woefully inadequate.”
Last week, a committee representing child sex abuse victims asked a judge for permission to file its own reorganization plan. The committee claims the BSA plan does not fairly compensate victims and it protects the assets of local Boy Scouts councils and sponsoring organizations from liability.
According to the Associated Press, the “BSA’s $300-million plan includes about $115 million in cash and noninsurance assets from the BSA, and the assignment of BSA and local council insurance policies. In return, the 253 local councils and thousands of sponsoring organizations would be released from further liability.”
The committee for the victims come up with dramatically different numbers. They estimate the value of the roughly 84,000 sexual abuse claims filed in the bankruptcy at about $103 billion, adding that those estimates were “extremely conservative.”
The committee arrived at this number by estimating the average claim value to be $811,215. The committee notes that this number is less than the average of $1.2 million per claim that the University of Southern California agreed to pay last month in an $852 million settlement with more than 700 women who accused the college’s longtime campus gynecologist of sexual abuse.
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Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein has already rejected the BSA’s request for an April 15 hearing to approve the disclosure statement outlining its reorganization plan. According to AP, “Silverstein, who instead will hold a status conference next Monday, expressed frustration about the lack of progress in the case and said BSA attorneys had not provided ‘some very necessary information and documents’ for a disclosure hearing.”
As MinistryWatch previously reported, the Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, sought bankruptcy protection last February in an effort to halt hundreds of lawsuits and create a compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.