The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has reached a preliminary settlement of $850 million with nearly 60,000 people for sexual assault allegations.
According to victims’ attorneys, this may be the largest sexual assault settlement in American history.
The reported case numbers dwarf similar allegations made against the country’s Catholic Church.
The Bosnian Serb Army apologized to the victims and appealed Bankruptcy in 2020He said he would establish a compensation fund for those who suffered sexual abuse.
In 2012, the newspaper Los Angeles Times Discover some 5000 files He details the accusations against Scout leaders and troop leaders who were deemed “unqualified volunteers”.
But most of the incidents were not reported to the police.
The 111-year-old organization said in a statement that the agreement was part of “ongoing efforts to find a global solution that equitably compensates survivors and secures the future” of Scouting.
The deal must be approved by a judge and voted on by the entire group of survivors, but it faces opposition from insurers expected to pay millions of dollars.
Under another agreement, which can be submitted on Friday, local BSA councils can contribute $600 million for the Victims FundAccording to the AP news agency.
Doug Kennedy She is one of nine victims chosen by the US Department of Justice to represent the survivor group. Vote to announce the proposed settlement with BSA.
“It’s very hard for me to say that the Scouts are doing the right thing. They are doing their best now,” he said, comparing the organization to BSA insurers, which have not yet provided adequate compensation. .
“What’s really important from the perspective of the survivors is that all of these insurance companies paid out of our fees,” he told BBC News on Friday.
“The kids got money to be in the Scouts and part of that went to pay for those policies. All we’re asking now is for the insurance companies to pay that money they took many decades ago.”
Ken RothweilerOne of the three main negotiators for the group of victims, told local news outlet NPR he was glad that the business association and its local councils “sought to be the first to compensate survivors”.
But another lawyer from the group, Tim Kosnoff, He told NPR that it was “Rotten and ridiculous deal“.
“I don’t know how this can be described as anything other than a failure,” Kosnov said.
Some of the men who had been abused for years received only a few thousand dollars, he said, describing the settlement as “an insult to all the men who dared to file complaints and were involved in the process.”
A few BSA insurers, who will be responsible for separate payments, also accused the organization of excluding them from the negotiations, saying they gave victims’ lawyers too much influence over the final settlement.
for this part, Jordan Merson, a lawyer representing more than 300 ex-scouts He said in the case that this initial settlement was “just the beginning” and that future settlement payments could run into “billions” of dollars.