The Boy Scouts of America settled at least 44 of the 113 child sex abuse lawsuits filed against the organization on Guam for an undisclosed amount of money.
Joint motions for determination of good faith settlement and dismissal were filed in multiple civil suits in the District Court of Guam on Monday by attorney Michael Berman, on behalf of his clients, and attorney Patrick Civille, who represents the Boy Scouts.
Each plaintiff alleged being sexually abused by the late Louis Brouillard during Boy Scout outings and meetings. Brouillard served as a priest and scoutmaster on Guam for more than 40 years.
Multiple rounds of mediation
Mediation began in September 2018 but did not result in a settlement.
According to the parties, additional mediation was held in December 2018 in San Francisco, California, and again in June in Hawaii. The latter mediation resulted in the parties agreeing on general terms and a settlement amount that will be kept confidential.
The defendant has agreed to pay the plaintiffs within 30 days of the District Court’s determination that the settlement was made in good faith in exchange for a mutual release of all claims against the Boy Scouts.
The organization denies the allegations against it and was prepared to seek dismissal of the cases, but the matters were stayed in order to allow the parties to engage in mediation.
'Strong likelihood of success'
If a settlement had not been reached, Civille and Berman agreed that the Boy Scouts of America had a “strong likelihood of success” and ultimately, it would have prevailed. Additionally, Civille stated that many of the claims are more than 40 years old and do not specifically identify witnesses in the alleged abuse and plaintiffs do not have any evidence that the Boy Scouts was aware of the activities of Brouillard or that the organization was negligent in allowing him to serve as scoutmaster.
The agreement, however, takes into consideration the nature of the abuse. While it provides monetary consideration for the release of claims, the amount is less than what the plaintiffs claim to be their total damages, but is “considerably more” than what the Boy Scouts believes to be its responsibility even if there is any truth to the allegations, the joint motion states.
Archdiocese still on the hook
Should the court approve the settlement agreement, the Boy Scouts would be removed as a defendant but the cases would still be pending against the other defendants, including the Archdiocese of Agana.
Berman still has 13 pending cases against the Boy Scouts.