Michigan State University reaches $500 million settlement with Larry Nassar victims
Eric Levenson and Amanda Watts, CNN
(CNN) — Michigan State University will pay a total of $500 million to settle lawsuits brought by 332 victims of Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University associate professor and doctor who sexually abused hundreds of young girls and women.
The terms of the settlement include $425 million paid to current claimants, and $75 million set aside in a trust fund to protect “any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Larry Nassar,” according to John Manly, an attorney representing some of the victims.
The settlement only deals with accusations against Michigan State. It does not address lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, or other parties.
The settlement in principle was agreed to by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees in a conference call Tuesday night, a statement from Manly said.
“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,” Manly said in a statement.
“It is the sincere hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society,” he added.
Robert Young, special counsel to MSU, said the university is “pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar’s crimes.
“We appreciate the hard work both sides put into the mediation, and the efforts of the mediator, which achieved a result that is responsible and equitable,” Young added.
Michigan State’s role
Nassar admitted in court to using his position as a trusted medical doctor to sexually abuse young girls and women who came to him for medical care over about two decades. He was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.
During a remarkable series of court hearings, dozens of women came forward to speak out against Nassar as well as the institutions that they said protected him, including Michigan State. Nassar was employed as a sports physician at MSU from 1997 to 2016.
Amid that backlash, Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon resigned in January. John Engler, the former Michigan governor, was named the interim president by the Board of Trustees.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the university and find out who knew what, when and what they did about it.
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