New Settlement with Insurance Companies and Additional Settlement with Local Councils Adds $840 Million to Fund for Survivors
Full Details on Historic, Multibillion-dollar Plan Can Be Found at scoutingabusesurvivors.com
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2021 – The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice (“Coalition”) announced today that it has entered into a settlement agreement with another of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) primary insurers, Century Indemnity Company and its affiliated companies for $800 million, bringing the total compensation fund for the more than 82,500 sexual abuse survivors to more than $2.6 billion, the largest sexual abuse settlement fund in history.
Coalition Co-founder Ken Rothweiler of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. stated: “The settlement announced today is the result of months-long and hard-fought negotiations between Coalition attorneys and various other parties. We have always said that our goals in this situation are two-fold: making sure that current and future scouts are protected and building the largest compensation fund possible. Today was another step in the right direction.”
The announcement today significantly increases the value of the BSA’s proposed plan of reorganization for survivors during the open voting period that ends December 28, 2021.
John Sakowicz, former Boy Scout from Ukiah, California, stated: “My reasons for voting ‘yes’ are manifold. First, it’s a historically large settlement at more than $2.6 billion. Right now, the BSA is bleeding cash, and voting no means years of protracted litigation, individual lawsuits, several local council bankruptcies, and many survivors left with nothing. This plan is equitable to all of us, no matter how complex our case or whether it has passed the statute of limitations. The Coalition is focused on not making the perfect the enemy of the good—this plan is real, it’s here, it treats all scouts fairly and provides closure.”
Earlier this year, the Coalition announced settlements with the Hartford Financial Services Group, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a group of more than 250 Local BSA Councils. The new settlement also increases the Local Councils’ contribution to the settlement fund by an additional $40 million. These agreements have also been agreed to by the BSA, the Local Councils, and the Future Claims Representative. Negotiations with other insurers are ongoing.
Coalition Co-founder Anne Andrews of Andrews & Thornton stated: “Not only is the Coalition creating the biggest possible compensation fund for survivors—it’s the only fund on the table, and it vanishes with a ‘no’ vote. The Coalition also continues to work with the Boy Scouts of America on accountability and safety measures to ensure that no child will have to endure the horrific harm and abuse our clients have suffered.”
Coalition member Adam Slater of Slater Slater Schulman LLP added: “With this significant settlement, the Coalition has grown an already historic compensation fund to be distributed to all survivors. Furthermore, our plan will continue to focus on protecting current and future scouts, and elevating survivor voices to the highest levels of decision-making throughout the BSA organization. It is the only clear path to justice and closure for our clients and the survivor community.”
Gregory Nowicki, an Eagle Scout from Lackawanna, New York, stated: “To me, supporting this plan means closure for everybody. We’ve had decades of holding in things, and this entire experience is about realizing it wasn’t just you. You’re not alone. This allows us to close a chapter, it allows scouting to survive and move forward in the right direction. A no vote will delay this process five, ten or more years, and many survivors are beyond the statutes of limitation and would be left in the dark. What I care about is closure for everybody, and a ‘yes’ vote allows that to happen in the quickest possible way.”
Virtual Information Meetings for Survivors
The Coalition is hosting weekly virtual meetings to keep the survivor community apprised of updates ahead of the December 28, 2021 deadline to vote for the plan. The next virtual meeting will take place Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT. For information on the benefits of the plan, instructions on how to vote, or access to the next virtual meeting, visit scoutingabusesurvivors.com.
About The Coalition
The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice includes approximately 18,000 abuse survivors, represented by 27 law firms who collectively represent more than 63,000 sexual abuse survivors of the Boy Scouts of America nationwide. The Coalition’s goals include: ensuring fair and equitable treatment for abuse survivors; establishing the largest possible compensation fund for survivors, to be distributed as expeditiously as possible; and focusing on the future of the BSA, including youth protection.
Andrew Merrill / Brian Schaffer / Joan Vollero