EAST LANSING – Michigan State University has spent more than $498 million to settle lawsuits with survivors of disgraced former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse.
The university paid $498,480,462.24 as a part of more than 150 settlement agreements with women and young girls or their family members who allege MSU failed to protect them from Nassar, who is serving a 60-year federal prison sentence on child pornography charges.
The largest chunk of that — $425 million — was part of a global settlement with the first wave of survivors who sued the university beginning in 2017.
The other $73.5 million is approaching the amount MSU set aside to help settle remaining cases, though university spokeswoman Emily Guerrant stressed that it isn’t the only potential source of settlement money.
“The university remains committed to settle as many cases as possible,” Guerrant said.
Though the number of active cases varies as some plaintiffs settle and others file new claims, there were 20 to 30 plaintiffs remaining as of Jan. 14, Guerrant said.
According to court records, those include:
- Various anonymous plaintiffs allege Nassar abused them at Twistars, the MSU Sports Medicine Clinic, and other locations. Many of them claim abuse between 2015 and 2016, after the university investigated an alumna’s complaint of a 2014 sexual assault involving Nassar.
- Erika Davis alleges she went to see Nassar for treatment in 1992 as a 17-year-old field hockey player. In her complaint, Davis claims Nassar drugged then raped her and that, when she reported it, the university covered it up and refused to investigate despite video evidence.
- Julia Epple says in a legal complaint that she was a 16-year-old basketball player when she went to see Nassar in 2000, and he abused her under the guise of treatment during at least two hour-long appointments.
- Angela Stewart filed along with Epple. In the lawsuit, Stewart says Nassar abused her during multiple appointments starting in 1997, when she was a 17-year-old softball player at Holt High School.
- Meaghan Williams claims Nassar abused her hundreds of times between 1997 — when she was 7 years old — and 2013.
- Kristin Nagle says she was a USAG member when she went to see Nassar for treatment between 2004 and 2006. According to the lawsuit, he abused her during those appointments at MSU’s sports medicine clinic.
- Alyssa Zalenski alleges Nassar abused her under the guise of medical treatment during appointments intended to treat injuries from figure skating between 2006 and 2010.
Kelsey Morris says Nassar abused her during an appointment on Nov. 23, 2015.
Jordan Merson, who represents Davis and a handful of the other women who haven’t yet settled, said MSU simply hasn’t yet offered enough money.
“The amount of money that they’re offering does not come close to compensating my clients for what they went through,” Merson said.
Davis brought her concerns to MSU’s Board of Trustees in December.
“When I reported it, you stripped me of my scholarship, you ended my college athletic career, and you silenced me,” she said during the public comment portion of the board’s Dec. 13 meeting. “And instead of stopping Nassar in 1992, when you had the opportunity to help me, you made it clear that I was worth nothing to you by choosing to cover up his crimes and giving him his medical degree, allowing him to go on and sexually assault over 400 girls. Young girls.
“So I’m here to ask you today, do you believe that I was sexually assaulted and raped by Nassar?” she said. “And why have you told me my case is worth nothing, instead of letting me heal like my wave one sisters?”
Speakers at MSU board meetings are alotted 3 minutes each. Davis paused half way through her time and asked board members to respond.
The 90 seconds passed in silence.
Original article found here.