The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may have proposed a settlement that is amenable with sex abuse victim groups, but the ball is now in the insurers’ court, and they now have to build a case against the deal.
The new deal the BSA proposed last week would see the youth organization provide up to $850 million in cash and other assets to about 60,000 abuse claimants, while signing over its insurance rights to a trust. This trust will also administer claims and distribute payments. However, that deal makes no mention of what happens to the BSA’s insurers, which could still be on the hook for payments to victims’ claims.
Lawyers representing the BSA’s insurers said that the settlement validates and requires insurance coverage for thousands of claims without proper vetting. They also accused the BSA’s lawyers of excluding them from mediation sessions that led to the settlement deal in question – an accusation the BSA’s lawyers have denied.
But during a recent virtual hearing, US Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein announced that she will push back a preliminary court hearing on the settlement deal, from July 20 to July 29, Reuters reported. The move gives BSA’s insurers more time to prepare their case against the settlement.
Silverstein also did not comment on whether she would approve the settlement, but said that she was pleased with some of the non-monetary provisions of the deal, including the establishment of a child protection committee.
Matt Linder, a lawyer of White & Case representing the BSA, said that mediation with insurers and other opponents of the deal is ongoing.