Larry Nassar: Michigan State University to pay $ 500m to abuse victims
Michigan State University has agreed to pay $ 500m (£371m) to gymnasts who were abused by ex-team doctor Larry Nassar.
The deal was announced by a California law firm representing 332 victims of Nassar, who assaulted women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.
The deal does not include any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements, according to a statement from lawyers and the university.
It does not address allegations against other groups for which Nassar worked.
It does not address claims against USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, or the owners of the Texas facility where gymnasts trained, according to a statement from the California law firm of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi in Los Angeles.
According to the lawyers, $ 425m will be paid to the claimants, and another $ 75m would be set aside for any future allegations against Nassar, 54, and the university.
The lawyers’ statement does not address how the money will be allocated to each of Nassar’s accusers.
“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,” attorney John Manly said in the statement on Wednesday.
He added that it is their “hope” that “the legacy of this settlement” will serve to eradicate abuse in US sport.
The university’s board chairman Brian Breslin also issued a written statement saying: “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 recognise the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention” he continued.
The president of USA Gymnastics, which oversees the US Olympic team, as well as the entire board of directors resigned after at least 156 women came forward to testify against the disgraced ex-doctor.
Earlier this year, the university’s president and director of athletics resigned amid claims that school officials had been told of allegations against Nassar years ago but failed to act.
Former president Lou Anna Simon denied claims of a university cover-up as she stepped down on the same day that Nassar was sentenced for his crimes.
The settlement surpasses the $ 109m that Penn State University agree to pay in 2017 to settle claims by at least 35 people against American football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Nassar is currently being held in federal jail and will likely remain there for the rest of his life.
He is serving a 60-year sentence for child pornography. If he is ever released he faces up to 175 years in state jail for sexual assault.