February 12, 2019

Boy Scouts Insurers Say They Aren’t Responsible for Paying Abuse Survivors

BSA is also fighting its insurance companies in court. Its insurers say it shouldn’t have to pay claims from abuse BSA could have prevented. They further say that the incidents are related by the fact that they are all the result of BSA’s failure to warn. In an entirely separate legal dispute with insurers, the insurers argue they shouldn’t have to pay out on sex abuse settlements and BSA’s legal fees, because the BSA’s records indicate that these events weren’t accidents or even unforeseeable. 

BSA continues to assert that it takes its responsibility to fairly compensate abuse survivors for harm from scouting. However, the organization continues to lobby various states’ lawmakers to limit its liability. Specifically, the Scouts are looking to strike down legislation that would give abuse victims additional time to file lawsuits as adults. BSA spent nearly $1 million on lobbying in 2017. This is four times its average for the previous five years. The increase even drew the attention of nine Congress members over the nature of the organization’s expenditures. 

BSA is also facing enormous pressure from declining enrollment. In response, the group is raising dues and opened its youth programs to girls, renaming itself Scouts BSA. However, this push appears to be too little, too late, so the organization is continuing to consider its Chapter 11 options.

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