Larry Nassar victims receive record-breaking settlement

Hugh Fox
May 17, 2018

On the same day the settlement was announced, ESPN revealed the sexual abuse survivors who spoke out against Nassar will be this year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award winners, who will be honored July 18 at the ESPYs.

Many victims have said they reported Nassar's abuse to various members of the Michigan State's staff. Campus police got their first report regarding Nassar in 2014, but the Ingham County prosecutor declined to file charges.

But it did not address claims against USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, star gymnastics coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, and others, nor did it end a criminal probe of the university's actions with regard to Nassar's behaviour.

As a result of today's agreement between the attorneys representing 332 claimants and representatives from Michigan State, $425 million will be distributed to claimants who are now part of the lawsuits.

Larry Nassar Survivors and Michigan State University announce they have successfully resolved existing litigation and agreed in principle to a $500 million global settlement

The settlement does not end the conversations happening about culture change at MSU in a post-Nassar environment, said Natalie Rogers, an MSU student and communications coordinator for the group Reclaim MSU.

"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 Jr., a former Michigan Supreme Court justice who represented MSU in the settlement negotiations.

The agreement was announced Wednesday by Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims. 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.

The deal applies only to Michigan State.

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The MSU board issued a separate statement in which it apologized to the victims and their families, while also acknowledging the "need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention".

"We truly can't afford to stop now", she said.

Amid intense backlash, Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon resigned in January.

There is no indication as to how much each victim will receive, or how Michigan State University will allocate the funds.

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Nassar also served as team doctor for USA gymnasts at four Olympic games, and his victims have included a number of former Olympians.

"I think that the magnitude and the level of hurt that these women endured as kids, made it essentially impossible for MSU to continue business as usual", Manly, the victims' attorney, said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Many questions remain about the nature of the settlement, including where the money will come from.

The agreement is one of the largest sexual assault settlements in history, far eclipsing the [2016] agreement Penn State University reached with victims in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

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