Larry Nassar Abuse Victims Reach $380M Settlement

USA Gymnastics, USOPC agree on deal with hundreds of victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 13, 2021 7:15 PM CST
Larry Nassar Abuse Victims Reach $380M Settlement
Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander speaks about Larry Nassar in Lansing, Mich., Nov. 22, 2017.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

The legal wrangling between USA Gymnastics and the victims of sexual abuse by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, among others, is over. The fight for substantive change within the sport's national governing body is just beginning. A federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis on Monday confirmed a $380 million settlement between USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the hundreds of victims, ending one aspect of the fallout of the largest sexual abuse scandal in the history of the US Olympic movement, the AP reports. Over 90% of the victims, who number more than 500, voted in favor of the tentative agreement reached in September.

That agreement called for $425 million in damages, but a modified settlement of $380 million was conditionally approved by the court. More than 300 victims were abused by Nassar, with the remaining victims abused by individuals affiliated with USA Gymnastics in some capacity. The financial fallout is just one part of the equation. A series of nonmonetary provisions will make the victims stakeholders at USA Gymnastics going forward. The provisions include a dedicated seat on the organization’s Safe Sport Committee, Athlete Health and Wellness Council, and board of directors, as well as a thorough look at the culture and practices that allowed abusers like Nassar to run unchecked for years.

Hundreds of girls and women have said Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, and a Michigan gym that's a USA Gymnastics member. Rachael Denhollander, who in the fall of 2016 was the first woman to come forward to detail sexual abuse at the hands of Nassar, said the provisions were a pivotal part of the mediation process. "It’s not about money, it’s about change," Denhollander tells the AP. "It’s about an accurate assessment of what went wrong so that it is safer for the next generation.”

(More USA Gymnastics stories.)

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