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The Wall Street Journal: Boy Scouts reach bankruptcy settlement with abuse-victims groups

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The Boy Scouts of America reached a settlement with all the major groups of sex-abuse victims seeking compensation through the youth group’s bankruptcy proceedings, a milestone in its efforts to turn the page on its past failures to protect children.

The Boy Scouts are offering up to $850 million in cash and other assets to survivors, and signing over insurance rights to a trust that would administer claims and distribute payments, according to an agreement filed in court on Thursday. The settlement “ensures we have the overwhelming support of survivors” to emerge from bankruptcy, the Boy Scouts said.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June that the youth group was nearing a deal with a coalition of law firms representing the bulk of the roughly 84,000 men who have filed claims over childhood abuse. Other victims’ representatives have now signed on, significantly broadening support for the plan.

The chapter 11 proposal will be put to creditor vote and requires approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., to take effect. Absent from the proposed deal are insurance carriers that are potentially on the hook for victim claims under policies they sold the Boy Scouts decades ago, when most of the alleged abuse occurred.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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