Michigan State and Nassar victims reach $US500M settlement

Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault last year

Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault last yearPAUL SANCYA AP

Another $75-million will be held in reserve for "future claimants alleging sexual abuse" by Nassar.

More than 250 gave statements in court when Nassar was sentenced for sexual assault in January and February.

The victims filed lawsuits in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., and state courts in California.

In addition to Nassar's role with Michigan State, he also served as a USA Gymnastics doctor. Lawyers will also be compensated out of the $500 million pool.

It will not include confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements.

Many questions remain about the nature of the settlement, including where the money will come from.

Denhollander says she remains "deeply disappointed at the missed opportunity for meaningful reform at the university".

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The revelations of the long-running abuses sparked investigations into possible abuse at U.S. athletic federations and schools by Congress and the U.S. Department of Education, and led to the resignation of the entire USA Gymnastics board.

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.

"This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced", said John Manly, another attorney for numerous victims. "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".

The settlement was agreed to in principle by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees in a conference call Tuesday night, a statement from Manly said.

The agreement with attorneys representing the survivors was a "global settlement", Michigan State University said.

"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 university faces claims from at least 300 victims. "This settlement from Michigan State is a huge victory for the survivors as it (is) the real first sign of accountability that we've seen".

The scandal is the biggest in US Olympic history and has had far-reaching effects - ending careers at USA Gymnastics, the Olympic committee and at Michigan State University. You created the type of environment where victims were afraid to speak up. The school had insisted that no one covered up assaults, although Nassar's boss, former medical school dean William Strampel, was later charged with failing to properly supervise him and committing his own sexual misconduct. State and capital appropriations were valued at $338 million.

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