After years of litigation, the Boy Scouts of America reached an $850 million settlement with thousands of sexual abuse victims.
This settlement is the largest figure to come from a child sexual abuse case in American history.
Over 84,000 people were part of a class-action lawsuit against the organization. The claims of abuse date to the 1960s against its leaders and volunteers. The threat of the pending settlement was large enough that the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020.
Attorneys say that the settlement is a start, but their clients also deserve more. The majority of clients are people in their 60s or 70s who had the abuse happen to them while they were teenagers.
The Settlement Occurred Out of Court
The BSA said that the settlement marked an important step forward for the organization. It’ll help each local council contribute to the Trust without draining additional assets, allowing them to move forward with the organization as it emerges from bankruptcy.
Leaders in the Boy Scouts of America say that their organization and activities are safer now than at any other time. New policies and procedures limit one-on-one adult-to-child contact to virtually zero.
90% of the claims against the BSA happened more than 30 years ago.
Although it will take time to move forward, the BSA is using background checks, youth protection training, and other opportunities to protect youth and adults from harm. Several steps still need to be taken to finalize everything, but the goal is to continue carrying out the mission for many years.