Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Michigan State University reaches $500000000 settlement with Nassar survivors

Scott Olson via Getty Images Scott Olson via Getty Images
Frederick Owens | 17 May, 2018, 00:39

Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in sports history, the university announced Wednesday. $425 million dollars will be paid to current claimants, and $75 million dollars will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Larry Nassar.

"Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar's crimes", said Robert Young, a lawyer for the university. Lawsuits still are pending against Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and an elite gymnastics club in the Lansing-area where assaults occurred.

Interim President John Engler has previously said that the money needed for settling the lawsuits filed against the university could impact tuition, but after a meeting with the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, he told The State News tuition might not be affected by the litigation.

The former USA Gymnastics doctor, who also served at an on-campus clinic at Michigan State, earlier this year received two prison sentences of up to 125 years and up to 175 years after hundreds of young women testified about decades of sexual abuse at his hands. He was also found to have child pornography and is serving prison sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life. Yet even as school officials allowed him to return to treating patients, the school's Title IX coordinator called his methods a "liability" that exposed patients to unnecessary trauma. Those are the 332 sexual abuse survivors of Nassar.

The investigation led to the arrest of William Strampel, Nassar's boss at the university's College of Osteopathic Medicine, on charges of felony misconduct in office and misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct.

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"It is very important to see resolution on the civil side, and I hope this provides some sense of relief and closure for the survivors".

The settlement drew mixed reviews from those abused by Nassar. She says many survivors "still have no voice". He built an global reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. "It has only just begun".

"I am thankful that the historic settlement amount at least in part reflects the horrific nature of what took place at MSU", Denhollander said in a statement.

"This has been a very long and exhausting road, especially for those who have been so vocal from the very beginning of this case", Lemke said in a statement Wednesday. Since that time, even more accusers have stepped forward, which accounts for the larger number of people covered by the Michigan State agreement.

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