Michigan State to pay $500 million to Larry Nassar's victims
Michigan State University are set to pay $500 million to settle lawsuits brought against them by a total of 332 people who have accused the school's former doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault.
Of this $500 million, $425 million will be paid to current claimants and the other $75 million will be set aside in a trust fund to protect anyone who comes forward in the future and alleges that Nassar sexually assaulted them as well.
Nassar is the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics physician who also worked at Michigan State University from 1997 to 2016 before he was fired in September of 2016 after Rachael Denhollander became the first person to publicly abuse him of sexual assault when she took her story to The Indianapolis Star earlier that month.
He has been accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of people, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment over the course of roughly two decades. He is set to spend the rest of his life behind bars, and he is currently serving the 60-year federal prison sentence that he was given this past December at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
He was issued this lengthy sentence on three child pornography charges. He was also sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison in January on seven sexual assault charges and between an additional 40 and 125 years in state prison in February on three more sexual assault charges.
Nassar was investigated by Michigan State's Title IX Department in 2014 after Amanda Thomashow accused him of sexual assault, but he was cleared of all wrongdoing, and Thomashow was told that she did not understand the difference between a legitimate medical procedure and sexual assault.
Nassar was allowed to continue treating patients at Michigan State after this investigation despite the fact that he remained under police investigation, during which time he sexually assaulted even more of his patients.
Here is what John Manly, who is a lawyer for many of Nassar's victims, had to say about the matter in a statement, according to CNN.
"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. 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."
Here is what Brian Breslin, the chairman of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees, had to say about the settlement, according to CNN.
"We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories. We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention."
"The settlement is a win for us and (I) appreciate that it is a step in the right direction, but I'm disappointed in the lack of compassion from MSU and that their tone toward the survivors has not changed."
It is expected that Michigan State University will pay $500 million out of pocket for these settlements and then sue their insurance company to get this money back, but this has not yet been confirmed.
This settlement does not deal with lawsuits against Nassar's other protectors, defenders and enablers, including USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee.