Michigan State University reached a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women who filed civil lawsuits stemming from sexual assaults by Larry Nassar. The agreement announced on Wednesday by the university and lawyers of the survivors includes $425 million to be paid out now with $75 million being held in reserve in case other Nassar victims come forward, according to the Detroit Free Press.
”There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement,” according to a joint press release from the survivors and the university obtained by The Associated Press. “Additionally, the parties must act to address items necessary to finalize the agreement. The settlement applies to only Michigan State University and MSU individuals sued in the litigation. It does not address claims against USA gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, Bela and Martha Karolyi, Twistars, John Geddert, or any other parties.”
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges in 2017. He was then sentenced to up to 300 years in prison in Michigan courts in early 2018 after pleading guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual misconduct. More than 200 women and girls stepped forward to accuse him of abuse committed throughout his 30-year career as a doctor for USA Gymnastics and at Michigan State University. A full timeline of how the case unfolded can be found here.
”I don’t think they can ever be made whole, but this is a step in the right direction,” attorney Jamie White, who represented the survivors in a class action suit against Michigan State told the Detroit Free Press.
It remains unclear how MSU will pay the settlement. According to the Detroit Free Press, interim MSU president John Engler has previously said any settlements would be paid by tuition and state aid. Local lawmakers have pushed back on the concept that any taxpayer money should be used to help bail out the university in the wake of the sexual assault case.