On Sept. 21, Attorney Irwin Zalkin joined other plaintiffs’ attorneys in arguing for more information on the liabilities local councils within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will face in regards to sex abuse claims filed against the BSA, as reported by Reuters.
Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Laura Selber Silverstein recently approved a “Restructuring Support Agreement” proposed by the BSA to resolve the myriad sex abuse claims filed against it. The judge maintained that she only agreed that the BSA could move forward with its bankruptcy plans; she made it clear that she did not endorse or approve the proposed settlement. Attorney Zalkin spoke to AP News about the “toothless” agreement and outlined his plans to address its many issues.
Attorney Zalkin followed through on his plans in a virtual hearing Sept. 21 before Judge Silverstein on whether the BSA’s disclosure statement provides enough information for the abuse claimants to vote on.
Per the abuse claimants and their lawyers, the disclosure statement is woefully inadequate, particularly in respect to each council’s liabilities. If they vote on the agreement now, they would be doing so without a comprehensive understanding of the claims and compensation they are giving up.
“I think these are real questions and I think we should be able to ask the Boy Scouts or local councils to include why they’re contributing and what they’re contributing,” Attorney Zalkin stated during the hearing.
The BSA disclosed how much each local council will pay, but Attorney Zalkin is pushing for more information at the request of his clients. As Reuters wrote, Attorney Zalkin’s clients want to know how much local councils would be off the hook for if they voted in favor of the plan. Essentially, they want to know what rights they would be giving up.
For now, the BSA asserts that its disclosures are sufficient and any estimates for the claims of which local councils would be freed would not be “reliable.” It did not extrapolate.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys raised other disclosure issues at the hearing, such as the BSA’s insurance coverage and how much chartered organizations would contribute to the agreement.
To date, about 82,500 sex abuse claims have been filed against the BSA. Attorney Zalkin and his team at The Zalkin Law Firm represent 150 BSA sex abuse claimants in this case (In re Boy Scouts of America, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 20-10343).
Attorney Zalkin and his attorney team are nationally known for their skill in representing sex abuse survivors against the institutions that failed to protect them. At The Zalkin Law Firm, we know how to navigate cases in which such institutions have filed for bankruptcy to evade accountability. For example, Attorney Zalkin was instrumental in negotiating a $660 million global settlement from the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, which filed for bankruptcy after a slew of child sex abuse claims were brought against it.
The Zalkin Law Firm stands firmly by survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one has been harmed while in the BSA, our national attorney team wants to help. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us online.