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Scouting Settlement Trust Begins Payments to Compensate Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Boy Scouts of America

SANTA FE, N.M., Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Scouting Settlement Trust ("Trust"), the fund established to compensate Survivors of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts of America ("BSA"), announced today that it has begun distributing its first payments, the start of a multi-year process to provide an estimated $2.5 billion in compensation to more than 82,000 claimants.

Approximately 60 payments totaling more than $150,000 were the first issued by the Trust since it was authorized to begin work in April. Since that time, the Trust has established a comprehensive claims processing platform at to receive, evaluate and resolve claims.

"We know that this day has been a long time coming for these Survivors,'' said Hon. Barbara J. Houser, the Trustee overseeing administration and distribution of the compensation fund. "Over the past five months, the Trust has worked diligently and expeditiously to develop a system for gathering, assessing and paying claims to provide a measure of justice to survivors. We are proud to be able to send the first payments today and will continue until every valid claim receives payment and the Trust's assets are exhausted.''

Initial payments are being made to Survivors who selected the Expedited Distribution (or "quick pay") liquidated payout when they submitted their ballots on the BSA's Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, which was confirmed on March 27, 2023. The "quick pay" process gives Claimants a fixed amount of compensation ($3,500). Approximately 7,000 survivors selected the quick pay option. Other claims will be evaluated and valued against a matrix negotiated by the parties and approved by the Bankruptcy Court or determined through an Independent Review Option also approved by the Bankruptcy Court.

The Trust currently is gathering information from the remaining 75,000 Survivors in accordance with the trust distribution process outlined in BSA's plan of reorganization. As part of the process, claimants or their counsel fill out a detailed claims questionnaire and provide additional information or documents to support their claim. Although speed is a priority, Houser said the Trust has a duty to treat all abuse claims consistently, with a guarantee of fairness and confidentiality.

When the reorganization plan was approved, the Trust's compensation fund was valued at approximately $2.5 billion. Other causes of action against third parties, such as lawsuits against insurers, may increase the size of the fund. Claimants will continue to receive payments until the fund is exhausted.

The Trust was established as part of the BSA's Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan of reorganization, but the Trust's work was delayed by multiple appeals of confirmation of that plan. Following approval of the plan by the Bankruptcy Court and the District Court on appeal, the Trust was authorized to begin its work– which involves maximizing the value of the assets contributed to the Trust by BSA and others, evaluating claims, and delivering compensation to Survivors with valid claims.

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