Michigan State University has reached a $500 m settlement with hundreds of women and girls who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar
Michigan State University announced on Wednesday a $500 m settlement with more than 300 women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by the dishonored physician Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in US athletics history.
The university has agreed to pay $ 425 m to current claimants with $75 m set aside in a trust fund for future asserts following private mediated negotiations between MSU and lawyers for the 332 victims.
The settlement only pertains to accusations against Michigan State, where Nassar taught and practiced medication from 1997 until 2016 and where much of the abuse took place. It does not extend to pending civil suits against the individuals and institutions that allegedly enabled or were negligent in preventing Nassar’s abuse, including USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, Twistars Gymnastics Club and gymnastics coach-and-fours Bela and Martha Karolyi.
” This historic settlement arrived about through the fearlessnes of more than 300 women and girls who had the heroism to stand up and refuse to be silenced ,” lead attorney John Manly said in a statement.
He added:” It is the sincere hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement is likely to be far reaching institutional reform that will end the risk of being sexual assault in sports, colleges and throughout our society .”
Michigan State has been accused of failing to properly investigate complaints about Nassar through the years to coaches, counselors, police and university-employed trainers, some of which allegedly dated back to the 1990 s. Outcry over the case prompted the abdication of university chairwoman Lou Anna Simon and the abrupt retirement of athletic director Mark Hollis.
” We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the heroism it has taken to tell their stories ,” said Brian Breslin, chairman of Michigan State’s governing board.” We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention .”
Nassar pleaded guilty in a series of trials to molesting women and girls for the purposes of the guise of medical treatment. He was also found to have possessed child abuse images and is serving what is effectively a life sentence in prison.
A 2014 investigation be carried out in Michigan State cleared Nassar of sexual assault accusations. The doctor continued to treat athletes on campus for 16 months while university police conducted a criminal investigation that ended with the local attorney declining to bring charges.
Michigan us attorney general Bill Schuette has appointed an independent attorney to investigate who at the university knew what, when they knew it and what they did about it.
Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to come forward publicly with accusations of Nassar, with co-accuser Jamie Dantzscher, a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, disclosing her identity months later.
Over time hundreds more were encouraged to break their stillnes, among them household names like Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber.
ESPN announced on Wednesday the hundreds of survivors of Nassar’s abuse will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPY awardings. Past winners of the honor include Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Billie Jean King. Last year, Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver was honored posthumously.
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