Dear Commons Community,
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that Michigan State University will pay $500 million to settle with the victims of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, the university announced yesterday in a news release.
Nassar, a former Michigan State professor of osteopathic medicine and team physician for USA Gymnastics, was convicted of sexually assaulting hundreds of young women and girls, and hundreds of lawsuits, representing 332 victims, were filed against the university.
Michigan State will pay $425 million now and put $75 million in a trust fund for anyone who alleges in the future that Nassar sexually abused them, according to the release.
The settlement applies only to Michigan State and “MSU individuals sued in the litigation,” the release states.
“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, a lawyer representing the survivors, in a written statement.
In March, John Engler, the university’s interim president, told state lawmakers that money for such settlements would probably be drawn from tuition and state funds, The Indianapolis Star reported. But some Michigan lawmakers criticized Engler’s plan to use taxpayer dollars to help pay for settlements.
A university spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an inquiry about where the money for the settlements would come from.
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the university’s long-term credit rating this month because of the “heightened financial risk” from the number of Nassar-related lawsuits.
What a sad chapter in the history of this university.