Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million to settle the legal claims brought by 332 survivors of the sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, a longtime doctor there, the university announced Wednesday.
According to a statement announcing the settlement, Michigan State will pay $425 million to the current and former students who are already party to the various lawsuits brought against the university, and set aside $75 million for any future claimants.
The institution said no confidentiality agreements or no-disclosure agreements would be attached to the settlement, which it described as agreed to "in principle."
A lawyer for Michigan State, Robert Young, said, "Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar's crimes. We appreciate the hard work both sides put into the mediation, and the efforts of the mediator, which achieved a result that is responsible and equitable.”
A lawyer for the survivors, John Manly, said, “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. We appreciate the diligent efforts of Mick Grewal and the survivors’ attorneys throughout the nation who worked to obtain this measure of justice and healing. We also thank the mediator and all who participated in crafting this settlement. 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.”
Many questions remain about the nature of the settlement, including where the money will come from. And assuming it becomes final, the settlement will not resolve many other aspects of this situation for Michigan State, which is under investigation by the Education Department and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually abusing scores of gymnasts he examined in his capacity as a doctor for the U.S. gymnastics team and Michigan State athletes. He is now in prison.
Inside Higher Ed will have more coverage of this settlement in the coming hours.