BSA shortchanging abuse victims

BSA shortchanging abuse victims

BSA shortchanging abuse victims

An attorney representing many of the men who were abused by scoutmasters and others while in the Boy Scouts decades ago says the victims are not getting adequate consideration.

The Boy Scouts of America has tentatively agreed to a settlement with The Hartford, one of two insurance companies involved in the case, and with Mormons.

The Hartford will pay $787 million into a fund to be established for the men, and in exchange, the Boy Scouts organization and its local councils have agreed to release The Hartford from further liability regarding sexual abuse claims.

Under a separate settlement, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has agreed to pay $250 million into the fund for abuse claimants. The denomination, commonly known as the Mormon church, was the largest single sponsor of Boy Scout troops before ending its partnership with the BSA at the beginning of last year.

Amala, Jason (attorney) Amala

Jason Amala, an attorney who has dedicated his law practice to representing individuals and businesses who have been victimized by others, tells American Family News the terms dramatically shortchange the victims.

"The Hartford insurance policies for the most part had at least $500,000 that are available to each individual survivor on their claims," he explains. "This proposal with Hartford means the average abuse survivor's going to get $10,000. So I don't know what $10,000 versus $500,000 is, but it's a big difference. That's how bad this sellout is."

Settlement discussions with the second major insurance company are ongoing.

"That leaves Century, who has coverage of about 40,000 of the claims," the attorney continues. "But Century has been telling people it can't afford to pay much money at all and basically said that it's broke. So if they reach another cheap deal now with Century, this case is going to be pretty much over."

Attorneys representing many of the more than 80,000 victims involved in the case say they will oppose any settlement deals that do not reward their clients appropriately for the pain caused by the attacks, pain that has lasted a lifetime for some.

The proposed settlements are reportedly part of an ongoing effort by the Boy Scouts, which declared bankruptcy in February 2020, to forge a reorganization plan that must win approval by a majority of abuse victims and the court.