JUSTICE

Michigan State University Agrees to Pay $500 Million to Nassar Victims

Michigan State University will pay at least $500 million to settle lawsuits filed by victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar and to establish a victims’ “trust fund,” the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday. Of that settlement, $425 million will go toward existing suits, and $75 million will go towardsa “trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse” by the convicted child sexual abuser. The settlements came after two days of “closed-door mediation sessions” among survivors, the university, and lawyers. According to a joint statement, the settlements have no nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements attached to them, and only covers suits that are directed at the university—rather than suits facing USA Gymnastics and “other parties.” “I don’t think they can ever be made whole, but this is a step in the right direction,” victim attorney James White told the Free Press. In the statement, former gymnast and Nassar survivor Rachael Denhollander said she felt grateful towards MSU for the settlement, but was “deeply disappointed at the missed opportunity for meaningful reform at the University...The litigation phase is over, but the fight for change and accountability, the fight to give survivors a voice and protect the next generation, has only just begun.”