Victims of Lawrence G. Nassar, the Michigan State University physician who
sexually abused young women under the guise of medical treatment, would
receive $500 million from the university in a settlement that is believed
to be the largest ever reached in a sexual abuse case involving an
It dwarfed the size of the settlement reached in the sex abuse scandal at
Pennsylvania State University. And it was larger than many of the
settlements that followed the child sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic
I think the number being so large sends a message that is undeniable, that
something really terrible happened here and that Michigan State owns it,
said John Manly, a lawyer for many of the 332 women who sued the
university over abuse by Dr. Nassar. When you pay half a billion dollars,
its an admission of responsibility.
Women who say they were abused by Dr. Nassar still have lawsuits against
U.S.A. Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee and others, and the
settlement with Michigan State could add pressure in those cases. The
settlement by Michigan State, a public university that is the states
largest, also sent a loud warning to other colleges about the potentially
devastating cost of ignoring misconduct.
The agreement comes as officials at the University of Southern California
are under fire for failing to report a gynecologist who faced allegations
of misconduct for decades, and as other colleges find themselves grappling
with a growing number of sexual abuse and assault complaints over the last
few years. By late Wednesday, officials at U.S.C. said they had received
about 85 complaints about George Tyndall, the gynecologist.
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