Monday, 24 September, 2018

Nassar sex abuse victims, university reach $500 million settlement: attorneys

Michigan State agrees to pay $500M to settle Nassar claims Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Stacy Diaz | 17 May, 2018, 00:08

Michigan State settled hundreds of lawsuits from survivors of disgraced doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse, and it will cost the school at least $500 million, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

Nassar pleaded guilty in a series of trials to molesting women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar, 54, who is serving a federal prison sentence of 40 to 175 years in MI, had worked for decades with MSU students as well as U.S. Olympic gymnasts who alleged he abused them, including gold medalists Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.

"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", plaintiffs' attorney John Manly said.

The case against Dr. Nassar shook Michigan State and led to accusations that the university covered up his abuse and ignored repeated complaints about his behavior over many years.

The settlement will pay US$425 million to the 332 girls and women who have come forward to date, averaging about US$1.28 million per victim.

Legal fees and expenses also will be paid by the fund. Mittleman and others involved in the case declined to say how much will go to the nine MI law firms and the California firm representing Nassar victims. Denhollander reacted to the settlement with a statement on her Facebook page.

Trustee Brian Breslin says Michigan State acknowledges the "want for change" in relation to sexual assault consciousness and prevention. "Those who spoke at the many days of sentencing remain in my thoughts every day, and their strength is an inspiration to us all", said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. I am thankful that the litigation phase is over so that my sisters and I can move forward.

The settlement only applies to Michigan State University and the officials named in the lawsuit against the school.

At Nassar's sentencing hearing in January, Lemke had harshly criticized MSU, saying: "Michigan State University, shame on you...." She says many survivors "still have no voice".

Nassar will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. Nassar himself was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, and then an additional 40 to 125 years, in February, after already having been sentenced to 60 years for a separate charge back in December.

He handled campus athletes and scores of younger gymnasts at his Michigan State workplace. Olympic gold medal winners Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, and Gabby Douglas are among his accusers, per NBC.