Michigan State Will Pay Nassar Abuse Victims $500 Million

Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million in settlement to sexual abuse victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.  $425 million will go immediately to 332 survivors who were sexually abused Nassar.  $75 million will go into a fund to pay additional victims who come forward in the future.

Nassar, the disgraced head physician of USA Gymnastics and a physician at Michigan State University, was sentenced earlier this year to one prison term of up to 125 years and another of up to 175 years for sexually abusing hundreds of girls he was responsible for treating.

This settlement does not include any claims against USA Gymnastics.

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. During a remarkable series of court hearings, dozens of women came forward to speak out against Nassar and the institutions that protected him, including Michigan State. MSU employed Nassar from 1997 to 2016.

As with many notorious sexual abuse cases, the full extent of Nassar’s crimes took some time to come to light. MSU could not deny that university officials had received many reports of Nassar’s sexually inappropriate conduct over the years. MSU simply insisted that it had no notice that Nassar had sexually abused his victims because none of the officials believed the reports. Based on this self-serving rationalization, the school denied it engaged in a cover up.

Facing intense backlash, Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon resigned in January 2018. The board of trustees appointed John Engler, the former Michigan governor, as the interim president.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the university and find out who knew what, when, and what they did about it.

The full extent of Nassar’s behavior and the number of young women upon whom he preyed is not yet known. Given the fact that he operated unimpeded for decades, supported by MSU and USA Olympics, there may be other victims who have not come forward yet.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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