January 19, 2019

Michigan State to pay Nassar victims $500 million in settlements

17 May 2018, 12:08 | Regina Holmes

Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault last yearPAUL SANCYA AP

Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault last year

Michigan State University said Wednesday that it will pay $500 million to the 332 alleged victims of sexual abuse at the hands of former faculty member and sports team doctor Larry Nassar to end a barrage of civil claims filed against the university over the past year.

Many victims testified that Nassar, 54, sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment while on his examination table, sometimes hiding it from view of parents waiting nearby.

Michigan State University was where he worked for decades, and numerous young gymnasts felt their complaints to staff there went ignored. Many of them gave emotional testimony during Nassar's sentencing hearings.

"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 lead attorney John Manly. The complaint is related to a pending criminal case against Strampel, who is accused of failing to properly supervise Nassar and of his own sexual misconduct involving students.

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.

Drew said that he commends Michigan State "for doing what they needed to do".

"A rough range is $250,000 to $2.5 million, somewhere around that", said David Mittleman, a lawyer with ChurchWyble/Grewal Law, an Okemos firm that represents 111 Nassar victims.

"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", said Robert Young, special counsel to MSU.

He adds that resolving the litigation "is a positive step in moving us all forward".

Nassar graduated from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993 before he became a physician at the school.

MSU paid nine law firms more than $11 million to defend the university in the lawsuits from the women and girls, according to documents the university released to the Lansing State Journal in response to public records requests.

Trustee Brian Breslin says Michigan State acknowledges the "want for change" in relation to sexual assault consciousness and prevention.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims. He also possessed child pornography and is serving decades in prison.

Numerous young women who survived Larry Nassar's sexual abuse weren't just angry at what he had done to them, but at the institutions they felt had enabled him.

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