United States university to pay $500 million to Larry Nassar sex abuse victims

17 May, 2018, 05:06 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Larry Nassar victims receive record-breaking settlement

Hundreds of women sexually abused by disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar have tentatively agreed to a $500 million settlement with Michigan State University, Nassar's former employer, attorneys for both sides said on Wednesday.

For the sake of comparison, Penn State University paid out $109 million to 35 of Jerry Sandusky's victims, which is approximately 2.5 times more money per victim than MSU's Nassar settlement.

"I am very grateful to have reached a settlement with MSU that reflects the incredible damage which took place on MSU's campus", former gymnast Rachael Denhollander said in a lengthy statement Wednesday following the announcement of the settlement that will be paid to 332 women and girls. As per the specifics of the agreement, $425 million will be allocated to the claimants as of now, with a further $75 million being held back for any future claims. However, the settlement covers only the victims connected to Michigan State.

Attorney David Mittleman, who represents numerous victims, says that there are now no dates scheduled for further negotiations with Twistars, USAG, or USOC, and that he has not seen the same motivation to come to a settlement from these other parties.

Last year, Nassar - who once worked for USA Gymnastics as well at Michigan State - was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.

Victims have been imploring Texas authorities to investigate whether Bela and Martha Karolyi could have done more to prevent Nassar's sexual abuse at the couple's Texas training center. The five hundred million dollar settlement is the largest payout for a sexual misconduct suit involving a university.

The Nassar scandal is the biggest in US Olympic history and has had far-reaching ripple effects - ending careers at USA Gymnastics, the Olympic committee and at Michigan State University.

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The school was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints for years about Nassar.

Michigan State is a publicly funded school with an annual budget of about $1.3 billion.

With a stellar reputation as the doctor to Olympic champions, Nassar had evaded scrutiny several times since the late 1990s by insisting his abuse was actually cutting-edge treatment that was misunderstood by some patients.

His current sentence is 40 to 175 years in prison. He built an global reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Olympic gold medallists Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney say they were victims.

"This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced", John Manly, a lawyer representing numerous victims, told The New York Times.

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