Michigan State And Larry Nassar Victims Reach $500 Million Settlement

Brenda Watkins
May 17, 2018

Michigan State University has reached a $500 million settlement with victims of Larry Nassar, the former MSU doctor who admitted to sexually abusing women under the pretense of medical treatment.

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 for about two decades.

"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, an attorney representing numerous victims, told the State Journal. But for some survivors, like Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to go public with her story, there is a long way to go.

Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims announced the deal after negotiating privately with the help of a mediator.

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. The university faces claims from at least 300 victims. She says she is also disappointed that a resolution hasn't been reached with other organizations such as USA Gymnastics.

Larry Nassar Survivors and Michigan State University announce they have successfully resolved existing litigation and agreed in principle to a $500 million global settlement

Brian Breslin, chairman of the university's board of trustees, released a statement welcoming the end of the litigation and apologising to Nassar's victims and their families.

A victim credited with exposing serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar says she is grateful to have reached a legal settlement with Michigan State University that reflects the "incredible damage" that took place on campus.

Nassar graduated from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993 before he became a physician at the school. She says many survivors "still have no voice". He was also found to have possessed child abuse images and is serving what is effectively a life sentence in prison. Amid the fallout, the university president resigned, the state attorney general opened a criminal investigation, and Dr. Nassar's longtime boss, William D. Strampel, was charged with committing abuse himself. 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 treated campus athletes and scores of young gymnasts at his Michigan State office.

At his sentencing hearing in January, more than 200 victims spoke out about the abuse they suffered at Nassar's hands, including Olympian Ally Raisman, who made a powerful statement reclaiming her own agency.

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