United Methodists to join Boy Scouts bankruptcy plan
DOVER, Del. (AP) – Congregations affiliated with The United Methodist Church have agreed to contribute $ 30 million to a fund for victims who say they were assaulted when they were young with the Boy Scouts of America, a lawyer said on Tuesday .
A committee representing United Methodist churches that sponsored Scouting activities also agreed to help raise an additional $ 100 million for the fund.
BSA attorney Jessica Lauria briefed Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein of the planned deal in an online hearing Tuesday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. Lauria said churches affiliated with The United Methodist Church would be granted protected party status, meaning they would be relieved of any additional liability in the event of abuse claims.
The proposed trust is expected to grow to more than $ 2.6 billion and would be the largest sexual abuse settlement in U.S. history.
Over 82,000 sexual abuse complaints were filed in the bankruptcy case. Victims who say they have been abused must vote by December 28 on a plan to reorganize the Boy Scouts.
Judge Silverstein originally scheduled a hearing to begin Jan. 24 to review the results of the vote and decide whether the plan meets bankruptcy code requirements and should be approved. But on Tuesday, the judge pushed back the hearing start date to February 22 to give lawyers more time to prepare.
Tuesday’s announcement regarding the United Methodist churches comes a week after lawyers said a tentative deal had been reached with one of BSA’s largest insurers, Century Indemnity Co. and affiliates agreed to contribute $ 800 million to the fund in exchange for being released from all liability for abuse. complaints.
Other deals involve another major Boy Scout insurer, The Hartford, and the former largest sponsor of BSA troops, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church. The Hartford agreed to contribute $ 787 million to the victims’ fund and the Mormons agreed to contribute $ 250 million. In return, the two entities would be released from any further responsibility regarding allegations of child sexual abuse.
The BSA continues to negotiate with churches affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church that have sponsored Scout units.
The Boy Scouts, based in Irving, Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020, seeking to end hundreds of individual lawsuits and create a fund for victims who say they have been sexually abused in their childhood.
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