Historic Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Plan Approval and Sexual Abuse Settlement

A Delaware bankruptcy judge recently signed off on the Boy Scouts of America’s (“BSA”) bankruptcy reorganization plan and $2.46 billion plan for compensating tens of thousands of survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of BSA representatives. Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein’s decision—which will lead to the largest sexual abuse settlement in the history of the United States—was the latest momentous development in the BSA sexual abuse litigation and follows a string of them that dates back more than four years.

And just like those other momentous developments, Eisenberg Rothweiler attorneys Ken RothweilerStewart Eisenberg, and Josh Schwartz played an integral role in this one.

Ken, Stewart, and Josh represent almost 17,000 of the approximately 82,500 survivors involved in the BSA sexual abuse litigation who would be covered by the $2.46 billion compensation plan. This is by far the largest number of survivors represented by a single law firm.

Because Eisenberg Rothweiler represented so many survivors and has a long history of fighting powerful institutions like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on behalf of sexual abuse survivors, Ken served as one of three lead settlement negotiators on behalf of the survivors throughout the BSA litigation.

Ken was instrumental in securing historic settlements throughout the litigation. The first was a $850 million settlement in July 2021 with the BSA and its local councils. The second came in September 2021 with a $787 million settlement with one of the BSA’s insurers, Hartford Financial Services Group. Eisenberg Rothweiler is proud to have Ken serve as a member of the Settlement Trust Advisory Committee (STAC), whose responsibility it will be to advise the trustee in connection with the distribution of the $2.46 billion settlement fund to the 82,500 survivors.

Dozens of media outlets covered these earlier settlements including AxiosBloomberg Law, the BBCDelaware Law Weekly/The Legal Intelligencer (three times), NPRNewsweek, the New York Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal (twice), the Washington Post, The Week, and USA Today.

Without these settlements, the BSA would not have had such a large pool of money with which to create a compensation fund for sexual abuse survivors.

“These historic settlements that led to Judge Silverstein’s confirmation of the plan to compensate abuse survivors were the result of intense, protracted negotiations among dozens of parties concerning complicated and novel legal and factual issues,” said Ken. “But our North Star during the negotiations and throughout this litigation has always been ensuring our clients and the other survivors of the BSA’s sexual abuse who are involved in this litigation are fairly compensated for what the BSA and its representatives put them through as they sexually abused them and then looked the other way.”

“While no amount of money can compensate the survivors for a lifetime of pain caused by their horrific traumas, the $2.46 billion fund is unprecedented for sexual abuse settlements in the U.S.,” added Stewart. “Additionally, with the BSA’s commitment to appoint a survivor to its board, for the first time in the BSA’s history survivors will have the opportunity to shape the future of the organization from the inside out.”

As founder and senior shareholder of the firm, personal injury lawyer Stewart J. Eisenberg has represented victims of catastrophic injury and wrongful death for more than 35 years. He is one of the region’s most accomplished trial lawyers, with a long list of awards and recognition.