A judge has approved the Boy Scouts of America’s request to pay a massive $US850 million to settle thousands of claims of sexual abuse.
The judge overseeing the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy has approved the youth organisation’s request to sign off on an $US850 million ($1.2 billion) settlement to resolve tens of thousands of sex abuse claims.
The ruling by US Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein of Delaware will enable the Boy Scouts to move ahead with a proposed reorganisation plan that would allow the group to exit bankruptcy by the end of the year.
“I find that debtors have met the relevant standard,” she said in a hearing on Thursday.
The organisation must still obtain approval from creditors to move ahead with the deal in a formal plan to exit bankruptcy.
The creditors include victims of the abuse, who generally supported the settlement.
Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2020 after being hit with a flood of sexual abuse lawsuits.
Claims multiplied after several US states passed laws allowing accusers, including adults, to sue over allegations dating back several decades.
The Boy Scouts have apologised and said they were committed to fulfilling their “social and moral responsibility to equitably compensate survivors.”
It said in a statement that Silverstein’s ruling was “an important development in Boy Scouts of America’s financial restructuring”.
About 82,000 sex abuse claims have been filed against the Boy Scouts.
As well as the $US850 million, the settlement includes the creation of a “child protection committee” designed to ensure Scouts’ safety.