Michigan State will pay $500 million to Nassar survivors in settlement

Posted at 11:35 AM, May 16, 2018

Michigan State University will pay survivors of Larry Nassar $500 million after settling lawsuits against the university, 7 Action News has learned.

According to attorneys representing the 332 survivors, $425 million will be paid out to current claimants and $75 million will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Nassar.

The settlement was announced after days worth of mediation sessions between lawyers for both the university and the Nassar survivors.

On top of that, there will be no confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement. It only applies to Michigan State University and MSU individuals who were sued. According to the lawyers, it doesn't address claims against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and others.

According to the attorneys, the settlement in principle was agreed to by the university's board of trustees during a conference call on Tuesday night.

Brian Breslin, the chairman of the MSU Board of Trustees, released this statement:

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 recognize 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.

It's nearly five times larger than Penn State University paid out to victims in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. 

"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.” 

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in January in Ingham County Court after he pleaded guilty to assaulting seven people, both in the basement of his home and at his office on the MSU campus. 

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told him at the time, "I just signed your death warrant."

Just a week later, Nassar was also sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison in Eaton County after pleading guilty to molesting young women at Twistars, a gymnastics club. Nassar will first have to serve 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.

In April, one of Nassar’s survivors alleged that MSU Interim President John Engler tried to settle her civil suit against the university.

Kaylee Lorincz, 18, said Engler asked if she would settle the suit for $250,000 without her attorney being present.

In a statement, Engler said he did meet with Lorincz and her mother, Lisa, but that his memories were different than hers.