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A historic settlement amounting to $850 million has been penned in by the Boy Scouts of America to resolve an astounding number of child sexual abuse claims in its name. The amount rounds out the settlement agreement which is considered to be the largest of its kind in US history.

According to the group’s lawyer, Paige N. Trooper, the debtors finally reached a resolution after months of intensive negotiation. The 30-page motion states that the proposed deal enjoys significant plaintiff support of representatives for abuse survivors.

The group estimates that about 82,500 unique proofs of abuse and claims were filed as of Nov.16, 2020. The Washington Post reported that the lawsuit involved more than 84,000 people who claimed sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1960s.

It was in February 2020, when BSA filed a petition in a Delaware court where it declared bankruptcy. The declaration immediately put a freeze on lawsuits filed against the organization for alleged sexual misconduct.

In the bankruptcy petition, the BSA’s assets are valued between $1 billion and $10 billion. It also showed revenue of $285 million in its most recent tax filing. At the same time, the lawsuits, filed by men claiming to have been molested, are mammoth in comparison.

However, local scout councils such as the Catholic dioceses will likely be shielded as it is only the national organization that will be in direct effect of the declaration.

Boy Scouts of America’s national organization has agreed to contribute up to $250 million to a trust for survivors. Meanwhile, local councils have been asked to contribute $500 million in cash and properties to that trust. The final $100 million will come from a separate trust that is tied to the local councils.

The BSA said that it “initiated a voluntary financial restructuring to ensure we can equitably compensate all victims of past abuse in our programs, through a proposed Victim’s Compensation Trust.”

BSA National Chair Jim Turley earlier reassured victims and their families with programs in place to pay for their counselling by a provider of their own choosing. He adds that there is still much to be done to get approval from the court for the BSA’s amended plan of reorganization. He stated that their plan is to emerge from bankruptcy later this year.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the “historic” deal is BSA’s acknowledgement of the pain inflicted on thousands of scouts across the country. “It doesn’t matter if it occurred last month or years ago—you deserve to be heard and we’re here to listen,” she emphasized.

In her statement she added: “We must ensure abusers never again have an opportunity to prey on others, and the best way to achieve that is through a criminal investigation.”

A hearing in the case is scheduled for July 20.

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