Between 2017 and 2019, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) paid more than $150 million in settlements to sexual abuse victims.
As sexual abuse claims continued to build against the BSA, they filed for bankruptcy to protect their assets and reduce the financial impact to the organization. Now, scouting abuse victims have a short timeframe to file claims before the November 16, 2020 deadline.
As more victims contemplate whether to come forward, many have questions related to compensation. For more information about how the compensation process will play out, continue reading below.
How much money does the Boy Scouts of America have?
According to its most recent tax filings, the organization has assets exceeding $1 billion from stocks and bonds ($680 million), money in the bank ($55 million), and property ($102 million).
Its local councils, however, own hundreds of additional camps, reservations, and other properties across the country. The Sam Houston Area Council, for example, is in the process of developing Camp Strake, which has $150 million in assets.
How will the compensation process play out?
Following the bankruptcy filing on February 18, 2020, BSA proposed a plan for reorganization as a way to limit liability. The Boy Scouts argue that local councils are legally and financially independent from the bankruptcy filing.
However, lawyers across the nation are fighting to ensure that funds to compensate abuse victims come from all the resources available to the Boy Scouts and its local councils.
In a newly formed Victim Compensation Trust, BSA plans to offer payouts to the following:
- Victims who have already won their cases, but have not yet received a settlement.
- Victims who are currently pursuing cases.
- Victims who plan to file a claim.
If the Bankruptcy Court approves the reorganization plan, the trust will receive a pot of money to pay victims. The size of that pot is determined by how many victims come forward, as well as settlement negotiations over which assets are included in the Boy Scouts’ estate, and its insurance policies.
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware will then decide the legitimacy of claims after the bankruptcy is complete. It’s important to note that the Court has not yet approved a process for allocating the available funds among all victims who file claims. The Court will eventually approve a process whereby a neutral third-party reviews claims forms and awards specific amounts of money to each victim.
How much money will Boy Scout victims receive?
It’s hard to say, but any attorney who gives you a finite number is not being candid about the compensation process.
At a high level, the attorney’s job is to:
- Maximize the amount of money available to victims nationwide from BSA, it’s insurers, and it’s local councils.
- Maximize your individual recovery by gathering details about the abuse, including the severity and duration, the location, and the years in which it took place.
Additionally, the attorney is there to emotionally support you as you relive painful memories from your past.
Will Boy Scout victims all receive the same amount of compensation?
Many victims are under the false assumption that this is a class action lawsuit, and that they might expect a few hundred dollars when all is done. The sexual abuse attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz expect every victim to receive compensation in a fair and equitable manner, recognizing that many scouts will come forward.
This is not a class action lawsuit, and each claim is considered on an individual basis. We’re hopeful this process is worth your time and the pain involved in reliving these events.
Let Us Help You Stay Informed About the Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy
The experts at Hurley McKenna & Mertz represent more than 1,400 former Boy Scouts who are victims of sexual abuse. We’re tracking all of the news related to the Boy Scouts bankruptcy filing and what it means for claimants.
You can see all the latest updates here.