Michigan State University agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in sports history, officials announced Wednesday.
Newsy's partners at WXYZ report $425 million will be paid now to the more than 300 survivors who've filed claims.
"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", Robert Young, a lawyer for the school, said in a statement as reported by the Post. We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention. The deal applies only to Michigan State University and MSU individuals sued in litigation.
According to the Detroit Free Press, which broke the news, MSU now has to figure out where this money will come from, and how much its insurance providers will cover. It also did not say how Michigan State will pay the bill.
Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar, said she was grateful for the settlement.
I remain deeply disappointed at the missed opportunity for meaningful reform at the University.
The agreement, reached with lawyers representing 332 of Nassar's victims, was approved Tuesday by the university's trustees.
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The lawsuits were filed in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan and state courts in California, where the victims allege that MSU, USA Gymnastics, and people involved in both institutions didn't protect them from Nassar's actions.
Michigan State was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints about Nassar, some as far back as the 1990s. In order to truly move forward, MSU is going to have to make real changes - and there are 332 "Sister Survivors" who will make sure that they do. He was later sentenced to an additional 40 to 125 years after pleading guilty to another three counts of criminal sexual misconduct. Nassar, however, had unsupervised access to girls' dormitory rooms.
And she is renewing her call for MI lawmakers to enact legislation that would retroactively extend the time limit for victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue. Lawsuits still are pending against Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and an elite gymnastics club in the Lansing-area where assaults occurred.
Nassar was also a doctor for the U.S. National Women's Gymnastics Team.
Denhollander was just 15 years old when she was molested by Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who was on staff at MSU as a physician for decades.
Victims have been imploring Texas authorities to investigate whether Bela and Martha Karolyi could have done more to prevent Nassar's sexual abuse at the couple's Texas training center.