Boy Scouts Sues Insurers to Fund Abuse Settlement

The Boy Scouts of America sued two insurance companies to try to recoup the costs of a settlement with two former Scouts who were sexually abused.

BSA, which is based in Dallas, said in its lawsuit that the insurers covered the youth organization when the two former Scouts from Oregon were likely abused. Therefore, the insurers should be held responsible for the cost of the settlement – which was undisclosed – as well as attorneys’ fees, BSA said in its suit, filed in federal court in Dallas.

The insurance companies named are the International Insurance Co. of Philadelphia, and General Star Indemnity Co. of Stamford, Conn.

BSA has had to deal with years of lawsuits and questions about its handling of sexual abuse allegations. Two decades of internal Scouting records known as “perversion files” were made public last year, and showed that in many cases, Scouting officials dismissed or ignored claims against leaders accused of abusing boys.

An Oregon jury in 2010 awarded nearly $20 million in damages against the Boy Scouts in the case of one man who alleged he was abused by a former assistant scoutmaster, Timur Dykes. That man and five other former Scouts later settled with BSA for an undisclosed amount.

BSA’s lawsuit against the insurers relates to a separate case involving two abuse victims identified in the lawsuit as Jack Doe 7 and Jack Doe 8, said Paul Mones, an Oregon attorney involved in the cases. BSA and the two victims reached a settlement before trial, with the terms kept private.

According to BSA’s lawsuit, both victims were first listed on their local Scouting unit rosters in 1990 – when BSA was covered by excess general liability policies issued by both companies.

It says the insurers “have failed to honor and have disputed their obligations under the policies to reimburse defense costs and to satisfy the amount of the settlement in the underlying suit.”

The two insurance companies did not immediately reply to requests for comment.