Late Thursday, July 1, 2021, the Boy Scouts of America and its local councils announced they had reached a historic settlement with survivors of sex abuse allegedly committed by Boy Scouts scoutmasters and other Boy Scouts representatives. The settlement, for $850 million, is one of the largest child sex abuse settlements in United States history.
Ken Rothweiler, a co-founder and senior shareholder of Eisenberg Rothweiler, was at the center of it.
Ken, along with Stewart Eisenberg and Josh Schwartz, represents (as part of a group called Abused in Scouting) more than 16,000 of the 84,000 survivors covered by the settlement—the largest group of survivors represented by any single law firm.
Because of the number of survivors Eisenberg Rothweiler represents and the firm’s long history of fighting on behalf of sex abuse survivors, Ken serves as one of three lead settlement negotiators on behalf of survivors. Settlement negotiations with the Boy Scouts, its local councils, their insurers, and sponsoring and chartering organizations, have been ongoing almost from the day Eisenberg Rothweiler, along with its co-counsel in Abused in Scouting, filed a sex abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts in August 2019.
From the day that lawsuit was filed, there has been frequent media coverage about that lawsuit and others, and whether the Boy Scouts and its local councils could even survive the allegations now that their secrets were being made public, including the existence of their “perversion files.”
This settlement, which is expected to be the first of many arising from sex abuse claims against the Boy Scouts and its local councils, was especially challenging because of the pervasiveness of the abuse within the organization on a national scale which led to a large number of claims filed by survivors and the persistent objections and lack of desire to compensate survivors by the major insurance companies.
“This historic settlement was the result of intense negotiations between survivors and the Boy Scouts and their local councils,” said Ken. “But it will not be the only settlement. Our attention will now turn to the Boy Scouts’ insurers and sponsoring and chartering organizations who have billions of dollars in legal exposure, of which a substantial portion is necessary to fairly compensate the survivors.”
Given the leading role Ken and Eisenberg Rothweiler have played in securing this first settlement on behalf of their clients, Ken expects more work is ahead for him and the firm.
“We will not stop until our clients and other survivors have been fairly compensated for the sex abuse they suffered in the Boy Scouts,” said Ken. “The heinous actions committed by Boy Scouts representatives, and the willingness of the Boy Scouts and its local councils to seemingly look the other way for decades when it came to the sex abuse that was happening right underneath the organizations’ noses requires us to fight on to increase the funds available to compensate the survivors in this case.”
Dozens of media outlets covered this first settlement and Ken’s role in it, including Axios, Bloomberg Law, the BBC, Delaware Law Weekly/The Legal Intelligencer, NPR, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Week, and USA Today.
In addition to battling the Boy Scouts, child sexual abuse attorneys at Eisenberg Rothweiler have successfully taken on other powerful institutions such as The Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the states of New Jersey and New York. The firm has the legal experience and the extensive resources needed to aggressively advocate on behalf of survivors, and has earned a reputation for its strong advocacy on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse.