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Judge approves Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy exit, sexual abuse settlement

A bankruptcy judge in Delaware on Thursday approved the Boy Scouts of America's $2.46 billion reorganization plan, opening the way for the youth organization to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and start compensating more than 80,000 men who say they were sexually abused by scout leaders. The approval of the plan by Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein still needs sign-off from a federal district judge, and some of the BSA's insurers have threatened to appeal the decision. 

The national Boy Scouts of America organization filed for bankruptcy in 2020, saying the process would allow it to "equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in scouting" while continuing to carry out its scouting mission. The agreement it reached with tens of thousands of victims last year is the largest child sexual abuse settlement in U.S. history. 

Under the terms of the plan, each abuse claimant-creditor would receive $3.500 to $2.7 million, depending on the severity of the case, and some amount would be put into a trust for continuing litigation, mostly from insurance companies. The money for the settlement will come from the national BSA, local councils, insurers, and churches and other organizations that sponsor scout troops.

"We continue to be enormously grateful to the survivor community, whose bravery, patience, and willingness to share their experiences has been instrumental in the formation of this Plan," BSA said in a statement.