Michigan State agrees to pay Larry Nassar victims $500M in settlement
Michigan State University will pay $500 million to victims in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
The settlement was announced on Wednesday in a press release from the California attorneys involved in the case.
According to the release, $425 million of the settlement will go to the 332 women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, a former MSU athletic department physician who pleaded guilty to molesting patients but called it medical treatment.
The remaining $75 million will be put into a trust fund for two years to protect any future claims alleging sexual abuse by Nassar.
The $500 million agreement is believed to be the largest settlement ever in a sexual misconduct case involving a university, according to ESPN.
"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 attorney John Manly.
"It is the sincere 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."
University board chairman Brian Breslin also issued a written statement on Wednesday:
It read: "We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories.
"We recognise the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention. A successful resolution to the litigation is a positive step in moving us all forward.
"We will continue working as a board to address the necessary changes and improvements that are needed at our university. We appreciate the hard work of the mediator and the parties involved in coming to this fair resolution."
In addition to Nassar's role with Michigan State, he also served as a USA Gymnastics doctor. However, the settlement covers only the victims connected to Michigan State.
On the same day the settlement was announced, ESPN revealed the sexual abuse survivors who spoke out against Nassar will be this year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award winners, who will be honored July 18 at the ESPYs.
Nassar, 54, faces up to 175 years in Michigan state prison for criminal sexual conduct after more than 200 victims came forward at his sentencing hearings in January. He is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possessing child pornography.