Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

Larry Nassar Survivors and Michigan State University announce they have successfully resolved existing litigation and agreed in principle to a $500 million global settlement

Larry Nassar Survivors and Michigan State University announce they have successfully resolved existing litigation and agreed in principle to a $500 million global settlement

Any suggestion that the university engaged in a coverup is "simply false", a school statement said.

The deal does not include any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements, according to a statement from lawyers and the university.

Lindsey Lemke, a former MSU gymnast, said she hoped the settlement would bring what she has called long-overdue change in how the university responds to abuse claims. The remaining $75 million will be set aside for victims who come forward in the future. Lawyers will also be compensated out of the $500 million pool.

In January, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct in MI. He is serving three prison sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life.

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. He assaulted females at his campus clinic, Lansing-area home, area gyms and major gymnastics events. But his accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas and at national and worldwide competitions.

"The entire MSU community has worked hard at changes to make sure a monster like Larry Nassar could never hide again on our campus", Engler said on Wednesday.

During the sentencing hearings, many accusers described an ultra-competitive gymnastics culture in which authority figures could not be questioned and Nassar was free to abuse young patients year after year.

In January, more than 150 women testified at trial about Nassar's pattern of sexual abuse.

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He counted on his charm and reputation to deflect any questions. They said Nassar would use a sheet or his body to block the parent's view.

Other cases involved participants in soccer, figure skating, rowing, softball, cheerleading, wrestling, diving, dance, and track and field.

"It is the honest 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", attorney John Manly, who represents numerous victims, said in a statement.

The school has about 39,000 undergraduate students.

Michigan State is a publicly funded school with an annual budget of about $1.3 billion. Roughly $983 million comes from tuition and fees, and $281 million is from the state.

Nine law firms have billed MSU for work done in defending the school in hundreds of lawsuits, handling internal investigations, investigations by state and federal agencies or for dealing with the university's insurance providers, according to documents MSU provided to the State Journal in response to public records requests.

The settlement does not apply to other organisations still facing lawsuits over Nassar's abuse, including the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and famed former Olympic coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi.

White reported from Detroit.

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