A Hartford-based insurance company announced they are paying the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) $650 million in a settlement agreement relating to sex abuse claims.
The Hartford said they are settling for claims associated with policies that were issued with BSA in the 1970s.
"We are deeply sympathetic to the victims of childhood sexual abuse and the enduring trauma they suffer. Our agreement with BSA is an encouraging step towards a global resolution that will promote the BSA’s efforts to equitably compensate survivors," The Hartford spokesperson Matthew Sturdevant said in a statement.
Under the agreement, in exchange for The Hartford’s payment, BSA and its local councils will release the insurance company from any obligation under policies it issued to BSA and its local councils, according to Sturdevant.
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BSA issued a statement about the settlement.
"We are pleased with the significant progress we have made in our Chapter 11 case through ongoing mediation. Our agreement with The Hartford is an encouraging step towards achieving a global resolution that will promote the BSA’s efforts to equitably compensate survivors and continue the mission of Scouting. This agreement provides for The Hartford’s contribution of $650 million to the proposed Settlement Trust to compensate survivors on the effective date of the agreement. This contribution will be in addition to the contributions from national BSA, local councils, participating chartered organizations and other participating insurers. We are committed to continuing our mediation efforts with all parties and look forward to sharing additional updates as these discussions progress."
The settlement money will be used to compensate survivors, the statement reads.
The Hartford and BSA hope to receive court approval in the third quarter of 2021, but this could be delayed for "various procedural concerns," according to The Hartford.
BSA, based in Irving, Texas, sought bankruptcy protection last February in an effort to halt hundreds of lawsuits and create a compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.
Close to 90,000 sexual abuse claims were filed against BSA this past November in the organization’s bankruptcy case.