In the largest child sexual abuse case in United States history, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has reached an $850 million settlement with tens of thousands of people who filed claims of abuse against organization volunteers and leaders.
NBC News reports more than 84,000 people are part of the lawsuit against the 110-year-old organization, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2020 amid a wave of sexual abuse lawsuits.
“This initial settlement of $850 million is the largest settlement of sexual abuse claims in United States history,” Ken Rothweiler, a lawyer representing a group of survivors, said in a statement. “I am pleased that both the BSA and their local councils have stepped up to be the first to compensate the survivors.”
Under the Thursday settlement, each claimant would receive about $14,000, with about 60,000 survivors eligible to receive a payment, according to USA Today.
As part of the agreement, the BSA has also agreed that insurance rights for the past 40 years will be put into a trust, which will be controlled by a survivor’s group. The BSA will also grant the settlement trust access to all records related to allegations of abuse, as well as implement protective measures throughout the BSA’s programs.
“This significant step toward a global resolution benefits the entire Scouting community, as this agreement will help local councils make their contributions to the Trust without additional drain on their assets, and will allow them to move forward with the national organization toward emergence from bankruptcy,” the BSA said in an official statement.
The group added: “There is still much to be done to obtain approval from the Court to solicit survivors to vote for the BSA’s amended Plan of Reorganization. However, with this encouraging and significant step forward, the BSA is wholeheartedly committed to working toward a global resolution.”