Latest vote tally for Boy Scouts' $2.7 bln abuse settlement falls short of goal

2 minute read

The Cushman Watt Scout Center, headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America for the Los Angeles Area Council, is pictured in Los Angeles, California October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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  • Abuse settlement nets 73.57% of votes from survivors
  • Claimants can still change their votes

(Reuters) - The Boy Scouts of America remains slightly short of the votes it sought from sex abuse victims for a $2.7 billion settlement that aims to resolve accusations spanning decades, but says it is still working to obtain more support for the deal that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy.

BSA, which filed for Chapter 11 in February 2020 facing widespread accusations that troop leaders sexually abused Scouts, said 73.57% of victims' votes were in favor of the plan, according to court papers filed on Tuesday.

The count failed to meet the 75% threshold BSA had set as a target but exceeded the minimum required under bankruptcy law, meaning the organization could potentially still persuade a judge to approve the settlement.

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That figure represents less than a 0.5% increase from a preliminary count released earlier this month.

But, thousands of ballots were not counted due to various defects, according to Tuesday's filing.

Meanwhile, mediation between BSA and opponents of the plan is ongoing. Survivors can change their votes until a Feb. 22 hearing on the deal before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein in Delaware, who must sign off on the deal.

The settlement, which is central to BSA's proposed reorganization plan, has divided survivors. Those that remain opposed argue that the offer is far too low.

Local councils, insurers, and organizations that chartered Scouting units and activities agreed to pay a combined $2.7 billion to resolve more than 82,000 abuse claims.

BSA said recently that it is likely to be able to pay abuse claims in full, an assertion some survivors dispute.

"We are actively engaging key parties with the hope of reaching additional agreements, which could potentially garner additional support for the Plan in the coming weeks," BSA said in a statement on Tuesday.

A committee representing survivors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is In re Boy Scouts of America, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 20-10343.

For the Boy Scouts: Jessica Lauria, Michael Andolina, Matthew Linder and Laura Baccash of White & Case; and Derek Abbott and Andrew Remming of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell

For the committee: Richard Pachulski, Alan Kornfeld, Debra Grassgreen and James O’Neill of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones

Read more:

Boy Scouts fall short in support for $2.7 bln abuse settlement

Boy Scouts sex abuse settlement hearing pushed to February

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Maria Chutchian reports on corporate bankruptcies and restructurings. She can be reached at maria.chutchian@thomsonreuters.com.