The Boy Scouts of America have announced that they are prepared to settle litigation with Chubb Insurance for $800 million, avoiding a potential trial.
In a statement, Boy Scouts President J. Allen Garfinkel said, “As the nation’s leader in youth development, the Boy Scouts of America fully cooperated with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into potential claims arising from the allegations of sexual abuse by former BSA volunteers.
“BSA has identified 72 individuals who may have been the victims of misconduct by former volunteers who are also suspected of soliciting child sexual exploitation for others,” Garfinkel added. “Thus far, 93% of those cases have been successfully resolved through either confidential settlements or forbearance agreements, with the remaining cases continuing to be litigated.”
In addition to nearly 90% of cases, nearly 96% of BSA-affiliated charities that responded to the DOJ’s request are agreeing to pay almost $100 million to claims of abuse.
According to Boy Scouts of America policy, if a volunteer is accused of committing an act of abuse, the club bars them from working with young Scouts for a period of time, and removes them from the BSA for good. In recent years, the Boy Scouts have added new rules and regulations to address sexual abuse of minors and those who shelter offenders. A zero-tolerance policy is in place, which covers both sexual abuse and indecency of children. Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of BSA facilities, including camps, to promote any prohibited sexual conduct.
To receive coverage under a BSA camp policy, the child must be enrolled in BSA-connected Troops and must be a member of the Scout troop or in a BSA affiliated youth program. If those requirements are not met, campers will not be sent to camps, or will be sent if it is determined they are not a suitable host, according to a BSA policy.
Each liability policy issued by BSA subsidiaries, authorized affiliates and regional offices contains a specific liability policy exclusion that would apply if BSA paid damages in excess of the limits of coverage. Under the proposed settlement, BSA would not be required to set aside any premiums paid by policies in the ordinary course of business.
The proposed settlement is subject to numerous conditions including approval by a United States District Court in New Jersey. Details of the proposed settlement are confidential. Any court orders obtained in connection with the proposed settlement will only be made public following the effective date of the final judgment.
The Boy Scouts of America spent a combined $309 million in the past five years on compensation for survivors of child sexual abuse.