Suits remain halted, mediation eyed in Boy Scouts bankruptcy - Albuquerque Journal

Suits remain halted, mediation eyed in Boy Scouts bankruptcy

DOVER, Del. — The judge presiding over the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy has approved an agreement among attorneys to extend an injunction halting child sex abuse lawsuits against the organization’s 261 local councils until Nov. 16.

Under the agreement approved Monday, local councils wanting continued protection from litigation must sign agreements by July 6 requiring them to provide information to the Boy Scouts about their finances, including real estate holdings, for sharing with creditor committees.

The local councils, which run day-to-day operations for local troops, are not listed as debtors in the bankruptcy and are considered by the Boy Scouts to be legally separate entities, even though they are “related parties.” Attorneys for abuse victims have made clear that they will try to go after campsites and other properties owned by the local councils to contribute to the fund for victims.

Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein will hear any objections to the extension of the injunction at a July 9 hearing.

The Nov. 16 extension date corresponds with the deadline for victims of child sex abuse to file claims in the bankruptcy case.

The Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, sought bankruptcy protection in February in an effort to halt hundreds of individual lawsuits and create a huge compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.

More than 12,000 boys have been molested by 7,800 abusers since the 1920s, according to Boy Scout files revealed in court papers. Attorneys have indicated that there could be at least 7,000 claims filed in the bankruptcy case.

James Stang, an attorney for the official committee representing abuse survivors, said Monday that his committee and the official committee for unsecured creditors are anticipating a “substantial” data download from the Boy Scouts related to the local councils.

An ad hoc committee representing the local councils already has provided some information on a confidential basis, Stang said. Similarly, the information provided by local councils pursuant to the injunction extension will be subject to a protective order.

Stang told the judge that if the creditor committees don’t get the information they need from the local councils, they will seek discovery through the normal court process.

Also Monday, Silverstein appointed a three-person mediation panel that will try to resolve certain issues in the bankruptcy case through voluntary mediation instead of costly litigation.

Silverstein appointed two of the three mediators proposed by the Boy Scouts and the official committees but chose former Delaware bankruptcy judge Kevin Carey for the third spot.

The other mediators are Paul Finn and Tim Gallagher. Finn runs a Massachusetts mediation firm and has significant experience in Catholic diocese and other cases involving child sex abuse claims. Gallagher is a California lawyer who specializes in mediation involving complex insurance disputes.

Attorneys for the Boy Scouts said issues ripe for initial mediation include disputes over whether certain Boy Scouts properties should not be made available to satisfy creditor claims. The Boy Scouts believe those properties include “High Adventure” bases such as the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, the Florida Sea Base aquatic facility, and the Northern Tier wilderness area in northern Minnesota and Canada.

“The debtors should not be forced to monetize those assets to satisfy the claims of creditors,” said Boy Scouts attorney Jessica Boelter.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Governor says film industry has to 'step up' after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signaled Tuesday ... Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signaled Tuesday her administration could ask lawmakers to strengthen safety guidelines for film productions in New Mexico after a recent ...
2
Man charged in beating death of MDC cellmate
ABQnews Seeker
AAn inmate at the Metropolitan Detention ... AAn inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center is charged with murder after he allegedly beat a cellmate to death Monday evening during a lockdown. ...
3
Report: Gun that killed cinematographer was used for target ...
ABQnews Seeker
Crew members shot real bullets through ... Crew members shot real bullets through a prop gun hours before movie star Alec Baldwin discharged the same gun during a rehearsal - killing ...
4
Journal Poll: Half of city voters rate economy as ...
2021 city election
Just 27% of likely Albuquerque voters ... Just 27% of likely Albuquerque voters take a positive view of the city's economy, even though ...
5
New Mexico surpasses 5,000 COVID deaths
ABQnews Seeker
Number of deceased more than doubles ... Number of deceased more than doubles state fatalities for three wars combined
6
Widow speaks out after husband died of COVID-19
ABQnews Seeker
'I didn't want his death to ... 'I didn't want his death to be in vain'
7
'If only he'd gotten vaccinated, this wouldn't have happened'
ABQnews Seeker
Gloria Dominguez, sister of the late ... Gloria Dominguez, sister of the late Anselmo 'Sam' Gutierrez, says she'll miss the magic he made
8
Exhaustion in the ICU: Doctors reflect on state's nearly ...
From the newspaper
New Mexicans urged to get vaccinated, ... New Mexicans urged to get vaccinated, wear masks indoors
9
'Rust' investigation reveals more details
ABQnews Seeker
Baldwin was practicing revolver cross draw ... Baldwin was practicing revolver cross draw when deadly shot was fired
10
Lujan Grisham calls for net-zero emissions by 2050
ABQnews Seeker
Governor wants climate standards defined in ... Governor wants climate standards defined in state law