Michigan State University plays hardball in federal court with second group of Nassar survivors

Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 18:17:17-04

(WXYZ) — Attorneys for Michigan State University have filed more than a thousand papers in federal court asking the new cases filed by survivors of Dr. Larry Nassar be tossed out. The case is being heard in Grand Rapids.

While that battle is going on in court, several survivors in this new group are telling their stories in a series of public information videos postedon Facebook.

Tiffany Ellis is one of the attorneys for these plaintiffs. She says they are not second class citizens and deserve the same justice as the first group.

At issue is how much money is available to pay for damages. MSU created a fund of $500 million for Nassar survivors and has paid out claims to more than $300 million. That average amount is $1.2 million.

That fund also included $75 million for additional claims and attorney fees. There are some 113 new claims that would be paid significantly less out of this fund.

Ellis also says they have a case pending in the Michigan Court of Claims that can get into who knew what and when regarding Dr. Larry Nasser. He’s doing what amounts to life in prison after pleading guilty to molesting hundreds of girls while he worked as a USA Gymnastics and MSU Doctor.

MSU in a statement to 7 Action News said:

To date, MSU has reached settlements with 80 plaintiffs who have come forward since June 2018 (Wave 2). We are in active settlement negotiations with the majority of the remaining plaintiffs as well and our goal continues to be to settle as many cases as possible.

The motions filed yesterday are in response to a court order that the University has to respond to the lawsuits filed last summer.

We responded with a motion to dismiss yesterday in order to preserve our defenses to the claims. This is simply a procedural step in the litigation process.

While the motion is pending before the court, we hope to reach settlements with as many plaintiffs as possible. The motion does not deter us from continuing all settlement discussions and working towards the university’s accountability to survivors.