Michigan State University Pays $500M To Larry Nassar's Victims

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Attorneys representing 332 survivors of former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar in lawsuits against Michigan State University and attorneys for the university announced a global settlement in principle totaling $500 million dollars.

Lawsuits against MSU and USA Gymnastics claimed the institutions failed to protect Nassar's victims from his abuse.

Nassar pleaded guilty in a series of trials to molesting women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

According to CNN, the settlement provides that $425 million of the sum be paid to current claimants, with the remaining $75 million to be held in reserve should other survivors come forward.

Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar, said she was grateful for the settlement.

"I think the fact that they were ready to settle without an apology speaks volumes about where their board and administration stands", she said. "We appreciate the diligent efforts of ...survivors' attorneys across the nation who worked to obtain this measure of justice and healing", John Manly, an attorney for numerous survivors, told the press. The school has insisted no one covered up the assaults. He was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee and Twistars gymnastics club, located in MI, are also named in the lawsuit, according to Jamie White, who represents 46 survivors.

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In January, more than 150 women testified at trial about Nassar's pattern of sexual abuse. College spokeswoman Emily Guerrant mentioned college leaders will now work on a solution to pay the invoice.

MI attorney general Bill Schuette has appointed an independent prosecutor to investigate who at the university knew what, when they knew it and what they did about it.

White tells NPR the agreement is bringing "a sense of relief".

But the settlement does not in any way make the way MSU has treated Nassar survivors over the last 18 months - and, for that matter, the two decades before that - acceptable or forgivable.

Since the MSU board hired former Michigan Gov. John Engler to be the university's interim president, school officials have been working to try to address what Trustee Brian Mosallam called "a culture that enables sexual misconduct" on campus.

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.

He also said the university understands "the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention".

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