The Boy Scouts of America has reached a settlement deal with groups of sex-abuse victims seeking compensation through bankruptcy proceedings.
The organization is offering up to $850 million in cash to survivors, as well as signing over insurance rights to a trust that would administer claims and distribute payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The deal “ensures we have the overwhelming support of survivors” to emerge from bankruptcy, the organization said. If completed successfully, the plan would rank among the largest in American sexual abuse history.
“The insurance is really where the bulk of the money’s going to come from,” said victims’ lawyer Ken Rothweiler. “There’s billions of dollars in insurance rights against some of the largest insurance companies in the country.”
In court papers filed Thursday, insurers said that they were excluded from closed-door talks on the deal. They alleged the Boy Scouts had “turned over the pen” to victims’ lawyers to set the terms.
The Boy Scouts have a goal of exiting bankruptcy by the fall, which is the peak recruitment season.
The organization said Thursday that the proposal “will equitably compensate survivors and ensure scouting’s future by resolving past abuse cases for both the national organization and local councils.”