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Boy Scouts’ $2.7 billion abuse settlement rejected By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The statue of a scout stands in the entrance to Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas, February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Sharp

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By Maria Chutchian

(Reuters) -The Boy Scouts of America fell short of winning the support it sought from sex-abuse victims for a near $2.7 billion settlement that could bring the organization out of bankruptcy, according to court papers.

The proposed settlement of more than 82,000 claims of childhood sexual abuse earned the support of just over 73% of those who cast votes, below the 75% the Boy Scouts needed.

Nearly 54,000 survivors cast ballots, according to preliminary results released in a Tuesday court filing. The current tally is not final and marks the first of several steps along a possible path out of bankruptcy for the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts filed https://reut.rs/3JID2bO for bankruptcy in February 2020, after being hit by a flood of sexual abuse lawsuits when several U.S. states passed laws allowing accusers to sue over allegations dating back several decades.

Those claimants are now designated creditors of the organization, so must sign off on any plans to restructure and exit bankruptcy. Representatives of some of the victims have previously pushed for larger settlements.

The Boy Scouts and the plaintiff’s law firms did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The Boy Scouts has apologized and says the organization is committed to fulfilling their “social and moral responsibility to equitably compensate survivors.”

As negotiations over a deal have dragged on, the Boy Scouts’ lawyers had warned it would have to begin selling off assets, that would otherwise be used to compensate abuse claimants, to pay legal fees.

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