Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States. BSA received their congressional charter more than a century ago. This historic youth-centered organization’s mission statement is to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” Tragically, BSA has been plagued with predators for decades.
In 2012, the Los Angeles Times published the Perversion Files which documents the history of abusers that ran rampant in the BSA. The Perversion Files records 5,000 cases of sexual abuse dating back to the 1940’s. Facing a multitude of claims for childhood sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of 2020. Approximately 82,000 individuals filed a claim in the bankruptcy.
Andrews & Thornton played an integral role in founding the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice (“Coalition”). The Coalition was founded to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all abuse survivors in the BSA Bankruptcy. The Coalition is an ad-hoc committee of approximately 18,000 survivors, represented by law firms who collectively represent more than 63,000 childhood sexual abuse survivors.
Andrews & Thornton represents thousands of survivors in their claims against the BSA. Over the course of the last two years, we have worked hard to bring increased value to the settlement trust included in the proposed plan of reorganization. Anne Andrews and Sean Higgins played a vital role in mediation and led the charge to reach settlements with insurance carriers that could be used to pay victims.
To date, the proposed plan of reorganization includes settlement commitments amounts to over $2.7 billion in compensation for survivors. This settlement proposal is the largest sexual abuse settlement in history. These settlements include the Boy Scouts of America, the ad-hoc Committee of Local Councils, Zurich Insurance, Hartford Insurance, Century Indemnity, the Methodist Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to the monetary compensation, the proposed plan of reorganization provides wide sweeping changes to the organization’s youth protection measures for future scouts.
In early 2022, Andrews & Thornton was appointed a seat to be held by Sean Higgins on the Survivor’s Trust Advisory Committee. The proposed plan of reorganization will be brought before the court in early 2022 for confirmation. Andrews & Thornton continues to work towards achieving equitable compensation for all survivors of childhood sexual abuse in scouting and continues to advocate for victims both inside the bankruptcy and in civil courts across the country.