Michigan State to pay Nassar survivors $500 million in settlements
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Michigan State University has settled hundreds of lawsuits filed by the survivors of former doctor Larry Nassar and will pay out $500 million to victims.
According to an attorney from MSU, the school will pay $425 million to the 332 victims and set aside another $75 million for a trust fund to protect against future claims of sexual abuse by Nassar.
The settlement was announced Wednesday after two days of closed door sessions between lawyers for the university and survivors.
Roughly 300 victims have come forward, saying Nassar sexually assaulted them under the guise of medical treatment. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges and also faces two additional 40 year sentences in Michigan prisons for the sexual assault crimes.
MSU has not detailed how it will pay the survivors or the families.
Over the span of two weeks, more than 150 victims spoke in a Lansing courtroom, detailing what Nassar had done to him and how he had changed their lives.
The survivors who spoke said Nassar would use his ungloved hands to penetrate them, often without explanation, while they were on a table seeking help for various injuries. Many stated they were children at the time, and that a parent was in the room with them. They said Nassar would use a sheet or his body to block the parent's view. Many also stated he told them to wear "baggy shorts" to all appointments.
Many of the survivors said in their statements MSU and other gymnastics authorities got wind of the assaults in the late '90s, but no actions were taken against Nassar. In 2014 the university's investigation of allegations against Nassar turned up empty.
On April 13, survivor Kaylee Lorincz revealed MSU interim President John Engler offered her $250,000 to settle her case against the university. She says she was on campus signing up to speak at an MSU Board of Trustees meeting when she saw Engler and asked to speak with him -- to share her experiences.
Lorincz says she told him she wanted to help the university heal, but Engler said working together couldn't occur until the civil suits were settled. She claims he offered $250,000 and when she rejected, he said he'd met with Rachel Denhollander, who had given him a number.
Denhollander was the first survivor to file a criminal complaint against Larry Nassar back in 2016. Lorincz says she followed up with Rachel, she says, who told her she had never met with Engler, and never gave him a dollar amount.
"I am pleased for the survivors of Larry Nassar's mistreatment that this settlement is occurring. This is about justice for the survivors; each of the women who came forward deserve justice. Those who spoke at the many days of sentencing remain in my thoughts every day, and their strength is an inspiration to us all," said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.