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Engler using scare tactics over legal payouts, say Nassar victim lawyers

Posted: 5:17 PM, Mar 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-23 22:13:20Z

At a hearing before lawmakers last week, MSU Interim President John Engler said that settlements over the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal will be paid for by “students and taxpayers.”

His comments were widely circulated by media throughout the state, but the basis for Engler’s remarks is unclear and attorneys for Nassar’s survivors now say that MSU's president was employing scare tactics.   

“Why he would try to pin this on the students and the taxpayers and essentially try to scare people off was alarming to me,” said David Mittleman, who represents more than 80 of Nassar’s victims. “I was very shocked and surprised.”

Mittleman is surprised, he says, because MSU is insured and, while we don’t know how much insurance could cover, he points out that Penn State’s insurers covered a large amount of their claims.

“Insurance companies paid out at least half of the 93 million for the 33 survivors,” Mittleman said.

The rest of the settlements, according to Penn State spokesman Reidar Jensen, were paid out without using any student or taxpayers dollars.

In a statement issued today, Engler’s spokeswoman softened his earlier comments, saying that “he was throwing out suggestions and ideas and not stating for sure how a payment would be funded.”

Contact 7 Investigator Ross Jones at ross.jones@wxyz.com or at (248) 827-9466.