NEW YORK — The Boy Scouts of America is increasing its annual youth membership fee by more than 80% as it faces a potentially ruinous wave of new sex-abuse lawsuits.

The organization says the move is needed to meet rising operating costs, notably for the liability insurance. As of January, fees for the Scouts’ 2.2 million youth members will rise from $33 to $60. Fees for adult leaders will rise by $3.

Many of the adult leaders have expressed dismay at the increase.

For years, the Boy Scouts have been entangled in costly litigation with plaintiffs who said they were abused by scout leaders in their youth. Hundreds of lawsuits may lie ahead with the recent enactment of laws in several states making it easier for victims of long-ago abuse to seek damages.


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