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Supreme Court allows Boy Scouts bankruptcy plan to proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing the Boy Scouts of America’s $2.4 billion bankruptcy settlement to proceed after decades of sexual abuse allegations.

The court lifted a temporary pause imposed by an appeal by more than 100 former Boy Scouts who opposed the agreement, Reuters reported.

Justice Samuel Alito temporarily paused the settlement last week, allowing the court more time to decide the request to block the settlement from going forward. The decision Thursday overrides Alito’s pause.

Last March, a District Court in Delaware rejected arguments that the more than $2 billion bankruptcy plan for the organization wasn’t proposed in good faith.

More than 80,000 men have filed claims with the Texas-based organization, saying they were abused as children by leaders all across the country.

A federal judge upheld the plan until Alito stepped in. The Boy Scouts of America asked the Supreme Court not to stop the settlement from moving forward and said a delay would affect their ability to continue its programs.

The organization sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020 when it was named in nearly 300 lawsuits.

Most of the men who said they were abused as children have voted to support the settlement in bankruptcy court. But 144 claimants said the deal unlawfully stops them from pursuing lawsuits against organizations that are not bankrupt, like churches that ran scouting programs, local Boy Scouts councils and insurers that provided the organization coverage, Reuters reported.

Gilion Dumas, a lawyer who is representing some of the men who appealed, told the outlet that the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to allow the settlement to continue does not mean that the appeals will not succeed.

“Getting a Supreme Court stay in a civil case was always a long shot,” he said. “But we wanted to try everything possible to preserve our appeal.”

The 3rd U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Philadelphia will hear the appeal April 9.

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