Michigan State Agrees To $500 Million Settlement For Sexual Abuse Victims

360px-Michigan_State_University_seal.svgIn what might be a record amount for a university, Michigan State has agreed to pay $500 million to victims of Larry Nassar.  That staggering figure would crush most schools, but Michigan State has decided to take the hit to get the controversy behind it. The school is in a similar position to Penn State in terms of paying out massive fees and damages while trying to keep its alumni support base.  It has worked for Penn State which (like Michigan State) has a fiercely loyal base built around its football program. However, half a billion dollars could chill some donors who want their money to go to the school and not litigation.

Under the agreement, 332 claimants will divide $425 million and the remaining $75 million will be held in reserve for two years for any new victim claims. Michigan State would not have to make admissions on the claims made against it.

As for Nassar, he accepted a plea and was sentenced to up to 175 years in state prison for criminal sexual conduct. He is also serving a 60-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

What is most interesting is that this is only the settlement of Michigan State.  Other defendants include USA Gymnastics; the U.S. Olympic Committee; and Twistars, the local gym Nassar’s used with patients.  Those parties will either have to reach separate settlements or go to trial.

 

 

23 thoughts on “Michigan State Agrees To $500 Million Settlement For Sexual Abuse Victims”

  1. https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/1/19/16897722/sexual-abuse-usa-gymnastics-larry-nassar-explained

    Ever notice how vague these media accounts are about what he did do and didn’t do?

    Presuming the lawyers grab 1/3 of the loot, each plaintiff gets $850,000. Pretty good payday for letting a doctor massage your breasts. I cannot imagine how many pelvic exams my sister’s had over the last 40 years. I wonder if a lawyer will help her monetize that! I’ve been checked for testicular cancer and prostate cancer, so I should be due some loot.

    1. DSS – I think your sister consented to the exams. 😉 These girls and they were girls, did not.

      1. Excuse me, Paul, has anyone meticulously catalogued the encounters he supposedly had with these women and differentiated the ‘legitimate’ examinations from the ‘abuse’? Is differentiating them based on anything more than these women’s retrospective re-evaluation of their time in his office?

        1. DSS – when you hear the stories of the abused they will be far different from that of your sister. Although, your sister certainly can try to monetize her annual or bi-annual exam.

          1. See the link. They report very little. The only specific contentions are that he massaged a young woman’s breasts, ‘penetrated’ her ‘digitally’ &c.

            We’re never going to know how much of what he did counts as crime, how much as hysteria, and how much as fodder for frankly mercenary behavior.

            1. DSS – they were preteens. And he did not have permission. Besides, it wasn’t in his job description. The girls thought because of his renown that he was supposed to do that. It really is pretty tragic.

              1. Some of his patients were pre-teens, most were not. Some have made accusations against him, some did not. Almost none made accusations in real time. You haven’t collated this.

                Read the article. Over 300 people are getting a payout from this settlement. If you fancy their claims have been meticulously vetted in the time allotted, I’m vending bridges.

                1. DSS – just because they did not come forward publically does not mean they did not come forward privately. If I were a woman I am not sure where I would be on making this public. I dated a woman who had been raped and it really did a number on her. I think I would be sensitive to their privacy if possible.

                  1. DSS – just because they did not come forward publically does not mean they did not come forward privately.

                    Is a complaint to the campus security or the athletic director ‘public’ or ‘private’ in your conception?

  2. One has to wonder how long the University covered this up for the sheer number of victims to rise to these outrageous numbers. I suppose in their minds during the denial phase it was better to sacrifice hundreds of students’ lives than to pursue any sort of concrete action against one of their own.

    If this is the case the university deserved a verdict of this strength.

    1. One has to wonder how long the University covered this up for the sheer number of victims to rise to these outrageous numbers.

      Here’s a suggestion, derived from the experience of the Diocese of Syracuse: Michigan State covered up nothing because none of the girls complained, or their complaints were sufficiently inconclusive that the security office et al at Michigan State didn’t feel compelled to do much about them. I think there was some out of court settlement negotiated in the last several years, but it covered only a few people.

      If they had a complaint about a crime, they could have contacted the local police.

      1. How did they interpret these incidents when they happened? 2. How did they re-evaluate those incidents later? 3. How fair is the re-evaluation? 4. How many of them are prevaricating for a payday?

      1. “As for Nassar, he accepted a plea and was sentenced to up to 175 years in state prison for criminal sexual conduct.” He’s also serving a 60 year federal prison sentence on child porn charges. Hmmmmm, sounds to me like crimes were committed. Just sayin’.

        You may not be happy with the amount of settlement for each victim, but every lawyer knows that appropriate compensation is elusive. Some victims are overcompensated; others appallingly undercompensated. Different people react differently to the same harm. Some children can seemingly move on from sexual abuse; for others it haunts them for life. The compensation system is far from perfect, but settlements are expected to do more than compensate victims. They are also expected to punish and act as a deterrent.

        1. Hmmmmm, sounds to me like crimes were committed. Just sayin’.

          What I said was you’re never going to know the share of accusations which were genuine crimes. He had contraband on his home computers. Some charges are substantiated.

          The alternative to accepting the plea deal was trying to go to trial on that bill of particulars. In the circumstances he was in, he’d have been dealt with more severely unless his counsel had been able to wipe the floor with the prosecution’s case. A plea was in his interest. The contentions in the plea are Wikiality, not reality.

    1. Priorities. What is more important, sports at a university or clean water for working class people?

      1. Why is Michigan State University responsible for repairing the Flint Water Works?

    2. Those poor children in Flint. The damage has already been done. Learning disabilities, lowered IQ, behavioral problems, and other health problems – it’s already occurred. Now all the parents can do is wait and see how bad it is. No amount of money can fix that. I do hope they get medical care and compensation, but I grieve for them.

      Everyone in their local government who were actively involved in using water that was known to be highly polluted, and run it through pipes that were known to contain lead, should be criminally liable.

      Here’s a chilling thought. A lot of pipes throughout cities today still have lead. It wasn’t just for the mad Romans, apparently. Cities should take a look at their water infrastructure.

      1. Those poor children in Flint. The damage has already been done. Learning disabilities, lowered IQ, behavioral problems, and other health problems – it’s already occurred.

        How long do you think they were consuming contaminated water in Flint?

Leave a Reply