In January, disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to life in prison after a week-long trial in which more than 150 women testified about the sexual abuse they had endured at his hands. And now, Nassar’s former employer Michigan State University has settled with his victims for $500 million.
According to MSU Today, the settlement was reached by MSU’s Board of Trustees during a conference call on the night of May 15th. Out of the $500 million settlement, $425 million will be given to about 300 current accusers, and the remaining $75 million will be reserved for any future complainants.
“Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar’s crimes,” Robert Young, one of MSU’s attorneys told local NBC affiliate WILX. “We appreciate the hard work both sides put into the mediation, and the efforts of the mediator, which achieved a result that is responsible and equitable.”
The settlement only affects claims filed against the university, and does not address any allegations made against Nassar at USA Gymnastics or the private gym Twistars.
Nassar began working as an assistant professor at MSU in 1997, and he remained at the university until 2016, when the first sexual assault allegations against him came to light. Nassar was also the team doctor for two of the university’s women’s gymnastics teams.
The Detroit News reported in January that during Nassar’s time at MSU, eight women had filed sexual assault claims against him to university officials. Ultimately, the backlash against MSU for how it handled these reports caused President Lou Anna Simon to resign in late January.
MSU’s settlement can’t undo the hurt caused by Nassar’s actions, but it is a step forward. We hope that all of Nassar’s victims are able to get the justice they deserve.