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Chapter 11 announced


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1 minute ago, desertrat77 said:

As for Summit, I'm on board with the suggestion someone (sorry I forgot who) made earlier:  National should have to relocate all of their headquarters and personnel to the Summit.  Sell everything in Irving TX, pack the UHaul, and start driving NE.  If Summit is indeed as special as advertised, it should be a positive move.

Not out of the realm of possibility. The professional training center already moved there.  

The only thing that would prevent that is the lack of a major airport close by. National employees do a lot of flying. 

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What is legally right is not always morally right.

Not sure scandalous conveys the true stupidity that is The Summit.  What was billed as a donation and 4th Crown Jewel is a grossly underused and over developed vanity project.  Basically a development

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7 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Should the youth of today pay higher fees to Scouting to compensate victims of abuse that happened many years ago?

 

That is the key question.  Whether they should or not, I think many families in the near future are going to say good bye to the BSA and find something else to do.  Many believe the fees are already too high in relation to the perceived value, and they either can't or won't tolerate more increases.

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23 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I can understand the sentiment though it's really just looking at the problem through rose-colored glasses.  Here's how I understand it:

  1. The BSA hasn't been compensating victims - insurance companies have.  The BSA & lawyers are involved in lawsuits, but eventually it's the insurance companies that pay.  The insurance companies turn around and charge the BSA premiums for this coverage.  That coverage is becoming prohibitively expensive now.
  2. It's wonderful to think that the BSA is sitting on a large pot of money which can be used to compensate victims - but it's not the case.  What happens is that the lawsuits result in insurance increases that are then passed along to new members through increased fees to the kids of today.

Today's bankruptcy filing is the BSA saying that this system is no longer supportable.  

To me the real moral question is:

Should the youth of today pay higher fees to Scouting to compensate victims of abuse that happened many years ago?

 

 

Don't disagree with you - just that a lot of people's mindset is that "starting over" means starting over, from scratch.  A lot of people like to think the Catholic Church should be selling assets to settle abuse claims.  How many people you know are in the market for a massive Basilica in the Vatican and are going to pay market value for it? 

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3 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

This needs to be said:

LOCAL COUNCILS ARE LEGALLY AND FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCIL. 

 

But another question needs to be asked: Are local councils liable for abuse cases that take place in the council? If so, they and their assets might be at risk regardless of nationals bankruptcy.

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33 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

To me the real moral question is:

Should the youth of today pay higher fees to Scouting to compensate victims of abuse that happened many years ago?

A good question for the decision makers in BSA to consider.

Numerous state legislatures have addressed the moral question of whether victims of abuse that happened many years ago (outside the former statutes of limitation) should have the opportunity to seek compensation.  They said yes.  The BSA has addressed the moral question of whether to attempt to pay reasonable compensation in response to valid claims of victims of abuse that happened many years ago.  BSA said yes.  So that leaves the moral and practical question of how to pay the compensation that will eventually be required:  Put the burden on current and future members, or find another way?

Another moral question is:

Should a BSA members feel any duty or loyalty to the Scouting program to help it out in its time of need, or any duty to help the victims of abuse by making the financial sacrifice of paying higher fees?

 

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12 minutes ago, prof said:

But another question needs to be asked: Are local councils liable for abuse cases that take place in the council? If so, they and their assets might be at risk regardless of nationals bankruptcy.

Are chartered orgs liable for abuse cases that took place in their unit? They appointed the leaders and sponsored the unit.

This makes me nervous as I am the COR for three units.

Edited by an_old_DC
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4 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

A good question for the decision makers in BSA to consider.

Numerous state legislatures have addressed the moral question of whether victims of abuse that happened many years ago (outside the former statutes of limitation) should have the opportunity to seek compensation.  They said yes.  The BSA has addressed the moral question of whether to attempt to pay reasonable compensation to valid claims of victims of abuse that happened many years ago.  BSA said yes.  So that leaves the moral and practical question of how to pay the compensation that will eventually be required:  Put the burden on current and future members, or find another way?

Another moral question is:

Should a BSA members feel any duty or loyalty to the Scouting program to help it out in its time of need, or any duty to help the victims of abuse by making the financial sacrifice of paying higher fees?

 

Do we know if insurance covers the past victims?  

From Wikipedia:

The annual report states that the BSA may have "to pay damages out of its own funds to the extent the claims are not covered by insurance or if the insurance carriers are unable or unwilling to honor the claims.

Accordingly, the BSA hired a law firm in December 2018 to investigate filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Such a bankruptcy could stop litigation of at least 140 lawsuits and prevent further lawsuits. In October 2019, a substantial membership rate increase was announced related to increased operational expenses, especially substantial increases in insurance costs.

 

If not, then why the rate increase?   They claimed rising insurance costs.   And if bankruptcy can possibly prevent further lawsuits, then the lawyers will have no choice but to go for the local councils, who will in turn also file for bankruptcy protection. 

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1 hour ago, tnmule20 said:

This from the Washington Post today:

A key question will be whether the Boy Scouts of America will be able to protect the assets of the local councils, which own camps and properties in prime real estate throughout the country. The local councils are incorporated separately but hold 70 percent of the Boy Scouts’ wealth, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Pfau and other lawyers bringing abuse lawsuits against the Boy Scouts said they were skeptical the organization would be able to shield the local councils.

“That is wishful thinking, because in every Boy Scout case we file, the local councils are named,” along with the local sponsoring organizations, such as churches or schools, Pfau said. Many of these institutions could be implicated in the claims, making for an even more complicated bankruptcy case, said Pfau, who specializes in representing victims in abuse cases against institutions such as the Boy Scouts and Catholic dioceses.

This doesn't really address the reason that it is important that councils and national are separate.   Yes, the lawyers can add the council and even the unit (CO) to the lawsuit.   However, my council cannot be added to a lawsuit that happened in your council.  This means a couple of things.  First, the property owned by my council should not be included in the bankruptcy  settlement.  I believe the BSA that enough has been done to keep these two entities separate.  If you believe otherwise then find precedent where a bankruptcy court included the assets of a legally separate organization.  I haven't been able too.  

 

It also means that unless a suit is filed against my council the lawyers can't go after this council's assets.   That doesn't mean we are safe from suits that include us, but that we can't be hurt by those other suits.  I think this will help many councils' assets stay safe.  Since summer camp locations are owned by councils it means we aren't about to loose all those.  

35 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I can understand the sentiment though it's really just looking at the problem through rose-colored glasses.  Here's how I understand it:

  1. The BSA hasn't been compensating victims - insurance companies have.  The BSA & lawyers are involved in lawsuits, but eventually it's the insurance companies that pay.  The insurance companies turn around and charge the BSA premiums for this coverage.  That coverage is becoming prohibitively expensive now.
  2. It's wonderful to think that the BSA is sitting on a large pot of money which can be used to compensate victims - but it's not the case.  What happens is that the lawsuits result in insurance increases that are then passed along to new members through increased fees to the kids of today.

Today's bankruptcy filing is the BSA saying that this system is no longer supportable.  

To me the real moral question is:

Should the youth of today pay higher fees to Scouting to compensate victims of abuse that happened many years ago?

 

 

The problem with insurance isn't the increasing premiums.  It is that they have limits.  They are great as long as you stay under the limits but don't help much if the lawsuits start to add up past them.   I think the limits on insurance payments is probably more of the problem than are the increasing premiums.  

6 minutes ago, prof said:

But another question needs to be asked: Are local councils liable for abuse cases that take place in the council? If so, they and their assets might be at risk regardless of nationals bankruptcy.

They might be.   I imagine that they haven't been targeted as much because of the larger pockets of national.   It may be that the affected councils insurance has covered their suits so far.  Remember that councils are only dealing with a small number instead of everyone nationally.  

1 minute ago, an_old_DC said:

Are chartered orgs liable for abuse cases that took place in their unit? They appointed the leaders and sponsored the unit.

This makes me nervous as I am the COR for three units.

I think CO's could definitely be held liable.  It will depend a lot on the situation and whether you are worth going after or not.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

A good question for the decision makers in BSA to consider.

Numerous state legislatures have addressed the moral question of whether victims of abuse that happened many years ago (outside the former statutes of limitation) should have the opportunity to seek compensation.  They said yes.  The BSA has addressed the moral question of whether to attempt to pay reasonable compensation to valid claims of victims of abuse that happened many years ago.  BSA said yes.  So that leaves the moral and practical question of how to pay the compensation that will eventually be required:  Put the burden on current and future members, or find another way?

My suspicion is that they thought about it from a fairness perspective.  Do we want abuse victims to have the ability to seek restitution in perpetuity?  It is certainly the compassionate case to say yes.

Similarly, I believe the BSA leadership looked at it similarly.  "Are we compassionate people?  Yes - so let's support victims claims forever."  

So, we have a whole lot of compassionate people wanting to be support victims without recognizing the policy impact of that - money is finite, abusers are long gone, and the people paying the bill are kids.

2 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

So that leaves the moral and practical question of how to pay the compensation that will eventually be required:  Put the burden on current and future members, or find another way?

Do you see another solution to the who pays question?  Abusers are gone and those remaining have insufficient funds.  BSA funds come from selling assets and from new members.  Who else?

My proposal has been that we nationalize this problem.  We recognize that non-profit, nationally chartered organizations like the BSA are quasi-governmental groups.  It's in the best interest of the country to create a national fund to compensate victims.  In return, the federal government appoints an inspector general to monitor the youth protection program of the BSA and to make sure it is taking appropriate measures such that this never happens again.

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3 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

Do we know if insurance covers the past victims?  

From Wikipedia:

The annual report states that the BSA may have "to pay damages out of its own funds to the extent the claims are not covered by insurance or if the insurance carriers are unable or unwilling to honor the claims.

Accordingly, the BSA hired a law firm in December 2018 to investigate filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Such a bankruptcy could stop litigation of at least 140 lawsuits and prevent further lawsuits. In October 2019, a substantial membership rate increase was announced related to increased operational expenses, especially substantial increases in insurance costs.

 

If not, then why the rate increase?   They claimed rising insurance costs.   And if bankruptcy can possibly prevent further lawsuits, then the lawyers will have no choice but to go for the local councils, who will in turn also file for bankruptcy protection. 

Even if the insurance doesn't have to pay out for that specific incident, more lawsuits mean that the BSA is a greater liability for continuing litigation.  

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There is so much to unpack here it is hard to keep up. 

Council liability question: The prevailing view seems to think Councils that do not have abuse cases are likely "safe" from litigation. However, many of these cases happened years ago, and so many councils have been merged or moved around, how does anyone know what the liability trail is and if you are "safe"? 

Frozen payments: If Chapter 11 puts a lid on court cases and insurance pay outs for abuse cases, what happens to run of the mill claims for things like injuries, negligence, etc.? Our insurers seem rather cranky. 

I would be interested in data on where or in what setting or type of CO most abuse cases occurred. There's some in the filing but it doesn't get granular enough. 

There are a lot of bad optics here that will continue for the next 2 to 5 years at least, with an ensuing effect on membership. According to the lawyers, the bankruptcy hearing portion may conclude within 2 year but the aftermath, if there is anything left of scouting, will take quite a bit more time to deal with. We've all been watching from the outside but now that the thing is here, the guts of it seem a lot uglier  than imagined. I"m hopeful for a complete restructuring, but by then it might be hard to do a reset.
 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

In Ohio, it is illegal for insurance to cover intentional wrong-doing. That seems to be the rules in most states, if not all.

I think there is a big question on if the BSA national organization was involved in any "intentional wrong-doing" or was simply not doing enough.  

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