Michigan State Settles Nassar Claims for $500 Million

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

Michigan State University students will help pay a $500 million settlement for victims of Larry Nassar, a former professor and sports doctor who sexually abused hundreds of young girls.

The settlement announced on Wednesday includes $425 million set aside for current claimants and $75 million to protect against future claimants.

The institution said no confidentiality agreements or no-disclosure agreements would be attached to the settlement, which it described as agreed to "in principle".

Michigan State University is expected to pay the $500 million out of pocket and then sue their insurance company to get the money back, according to a source with knowledge of the settlement.

"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", said John Manly, the lead attorney for the victims. "It is the honest 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".

The release also quoted Robert Young, special counsel to 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".

Brian Breslin, chair of MSU Board of Trustees, said the settlement was a positive step in moving forward. We will continue working as a Board to address the necessary changes and improvements that are needed at our university. The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee also resigned, citing medical reasons.

FILE PHOTO: A sign for Michigan State University is seen near the campus in East Lansing, Michigan, U.S., February 1, 2018. The university was reportedly warned about Nassar's behavior as early as 1992, but the school continued to employ him. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. He also faces a 40- to 175-year sentence issued in Ingham County and a 40- to 125-year sentence from Eaton County, where he was charged with a total of 10 sexual assaults.

The Nassar case is the nation's biggest case of serial sexual abuse based on the number of victims.

The scandal rocked Michigan State, leading to the resignation of President Lou Anna Simon on January 24 and athletic director Mark Hollis two days later. She says she is also disappointed that a resolution hasn't been reached with other organizations such as USA Gymnastics. He had an worldwide reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. After graduating from MSU's College of Osteopathy, he was named USAG team doctor in 1996 and went to four Olympic games as physician for USA gymnasts. Nassar was employed as a sports physician at the university from 1997 to 2016.

The settlement drew mixed reviews from those abused by Nassar.

Nassar pleaded guilty to assaulting victims with his hands under the guise of treatment.

"The entire MSU community has worked hard at changes to make sure a monster like Larry Nassar could never hide again on our campus", Engler said on Wednesday. That same year, Nassar was allowed to return to work during a police investigation into his behavior after a complaint was made against him.

Nassar sexually assaulted women and girls while serving as a sports doctor at Michigan State. Many stated they were children at the time, and that a parent was in the room with them.