Larry Nassar

Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State via USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State Settles Lawsuits By Nassar Victims For $500 Million

May 16, 2018 - 7:08 pm
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WCBS 880/WWJ Newsradio/AP) -- Michigan State University will shell out $500 million to settle lawsuits brought by sports doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual assault victims.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims.

According to a news release by the university as reported by WWJ Newsradio in Detroit, the terms of the settlement are as follows:

  • $425 million dollars will be paid to current claimants;
  • $75 million dollars will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Larry Nassar
  • There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement. Additionally, the parties must act to address items necessary to finalize the agreement.

The MSU Board of Trustees agreed to the settlement in principle during a conference call on Tuesday night.

"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,” said Robert Young, special counsel to MSU. “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.”

It is not yet clear how the school will pay for the settlement, WWJ’s Sandra McNeill told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace Wednesday.

“The interim president has said through tuition; maybe state funds,” McNeill said. “State lawmakers say no way, they don’t want any state money going to this. So that’s the next big question is where the money’s coming from.”

Still, some victims told McNeill they thought the settlement was a good first step.

“They want to see a lot more changes at MSU. Obviously, they made a lot of mistakes in how they handled this. They fired the president – well, she agreed to step down, Lou Anna Simon. But these victims tell me they want more changes, because they weren’t believed for so long, and they feel like, you know, this is some validation. But they want more to be done,” McNeill said.

But gymnast Kaylee Lorincz -- who said Nassar molested her for years beginning when she was 11 – told WWJ this settlement all buy proves her claim that MSU President John Engler had tried to pay her off.

"The first day of mediation, the first offer they came back with was $250,000," Lorincz told McNeill on Wednesday. "You know, after accusing me of lying.”

"So that really validates, you know, what I said about that meeting; that they did offer us $250,000 in mediation," she said. "So, for them to call me fake news...it just validates it."

Lorincz also said the settlement is a step in the right direction, but she believes more cultural changes are needed at MSU and says the money is not as satisfying as seeing Nassar behind bars.

Nassar pleaded guilty to assaulting victims with his hands under the guise of treatment. He also possessed child pornography and is serving decades in prison.

He treated campus athletes and scores of young gymnasts at his Michigan State office. He had an international reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, and assaulted Olympic gold medalists Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney, to name a few. 

(© 2018 WCBS 880. WWJ Newsradio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)