US Gymnasts Reach $380 Million Settlement In Larry Nassar Abuse Case
The athletic establishments also agreed to settle nonmonetary lawsuits filed by the survivors.
December 15, 2021 at 6:35 pm
After a five-year legal battle, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), USA Gymnastics and the organization's insurance companies have agreed to award $380 million to the sexual abuse survivors in the case against former team physician Larry Nassar, Forbes reports. The athletic establishments also agreed to settle nonmonetary lawsuits filed by the survivors.
Insurance companies will pay most of the settlement, while an estimate of only $34 million will be paid directly by the USOPC. The USOPC will also be responsible for providing a $6 million loan to USA Gymnastics as part of the sum's totality. The settlement was reached in a federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis.
Former Olympian Jamie Dantzscher filed the first civil lawsuit against Nassar in 2016. Eventually, more than 500 people came forward to accuse the former physician.
"This settlement is the result of the bravery of hundreds of survivors who, despite legal obstacles, long odds and the best corporate legal talent money can buy, refused to be silent,” plaintiff's attorney John Manly said, according to ABC News. “The power of their story eventually won the day.”
Manly represented more than 180 of the survivors, including U.S. gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, NPR reports.
Following the verdict, Manly chose not to speak about the mediation’s details, but said, "I've done thousands of cases in my life. This is the one I'm most proud of," according to ESPN.
Sarah Klein, co-chair of the survivors committee, told ESPN that the "settlement occurred because of a five-year, bare-knuckled legal fight the USOPC and USA Gymnastics decided to initiate against me and 500-plus sister survivors.”
"After thousands of hours of this survivors committee's time, blood, sweat and tears, today we prevailed," she added.
Former gymnast and lawyer Rachael Denhollander, who was first to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault in 2016, commented on the settlement on Twitter.
"This chapter is finally closed. Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether or not justice comes, and change is made, depends on what happens next," she tweeted.
This chapter is finally closed.
Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether or not justice comes and change is made, depends on what happens next. https://t.co/611dOyACeP
— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) December 13, 2021
Nassar worked with USA Gymnastics for over 20 years, including serving as the national team's medical coordinator from1996 until 2014. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. The following year, he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his former patients.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him to up to 175 years in a Michigan state prison, CNN reports.
"I just signed your death warrant, because sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again," she said, according to CNN. "You can't give them back their innocence, their youth."