NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As part of the Boy Scouts of America Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the organization is offering a $1.8 billion settlement to the roughly 82,000 claims that have been filed against them for sexual abuse.
William Stevens was a Boy Scout in the 70s and 80s and alleges he suffered sexual abuse while part of the Scouts. He feels they should be hit harder.
“The sum that the Boy Scouts are proposing is a fraction of what they should pay. It lets them and other off the hook for billions in damages for all the abuse and cover-up they’ve allowed to happen,” Stevens said.
Josh Gillispie is representing Stevens and several others in this case and said the 1.8 billion number would be fine if that was everything.
“If that were all the money that was available that would be one thing but it’s not and that’s the problem here,” Gillsipie explained.
The Council responsible for the Central Arkansas area is the Quapaw Area Council. It is contributing $4.6 million to that $1.8 billion figure. That represents about a third of their unrestricted assets. Gillispie says normally in bankruptcy cases those filing are not talking about those types of assets.
Gillispie said he wants all of those at the very least for victims in this case.
“Every dime of its unrestricted assets. Let them have enough to keep the lights on and the doors open,” Gillispie said.
Claimants have until December 14 to approve the settlement or reject it. The judge, in this case, can also use discretion when approving the settlement terms, so if a simple majority votes in favor it does not necessarily mean it will get the final stamp of approval from the judge.
Stevens is not sure how other claimants will vote for the settlement but he already has his mind made up.
“I’m going to vote against this offer, frankly this plan stinks,” Stevens said.
Stevens thinks the financial hit should be more severe and said this current offer feels like one last violation from the Boy Scout of America.
“Those of us who were raped and abused by the Boy Scouts of America, this proposal feels like they’re treating us like trash one more time,” Stevens said.