DOVER, Delaware (AP) – A key hearing before a Delaware judge could determine whether the Boy Scouts of America could come out of bankruptcy later this year.
The Boy Scouts, based in Irving, Texas, file bankruptcy protection in February 2020 amid a spate of lawsuits from men who said they were sexually abused as children.
Tuesday’s hearing was scheduled over a month ago. The judge was asked to consider whether the Boy Scouts’ explanation of a reorganization plan, filed in July, contained enough detail for abuse claimants to make informed decisions about whether to accept.
But several key stakeholders are asking the judge to postpone the hearing for at least three weeks to give them time to consider and file objections to a new plan that was filed just days ago. The postponement is requested by the official committee of victims, as well as by several law firms and insurance companies.
U.S. bankruptcy judge Laura Selber Silverstein must decide whether to grant the postponement or continue hearing on a disclosure statement outlining the BSA’s reorganization plan. This hearing could last several days.
Two of the major changes in the new plan are settlement agreements involving one of the organization’s main insurers, The Hartford, and its former largest troop sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church.
The Hartford has agreed to pay $ 787 million into a fund for sexual abuse claimants, and the Mormon Church has agreed to contribute $ 250 million. In return, the two entities would be released from any further responsibility for child sexual abuse complaints filed by men who said they were assaulted decades ago by Scout leaders and others.
The official victims committee describes the regulations as “grossly unfair”.