Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

Rachel Denhollander

Rachel Denhollander"The fight for change and accountability... has only just begun

He added that "it is the honest hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far-reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society".

$425 million will go to survivors who now have claims against the university.

Michigan State University has settled hundreds of lawsuits filed against it by the survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual assaults.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims.

Former state Supreme Court justice Robert Young, who served as special counsel to MSU, weighed in on the agreement.

The settlement covers only claims against MSU, not those against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee or Olympic coaches.

"The settlement is a win for us and (I) appreciate that it is a step in the right direction, but I'm disappointed in the lack of compassion from MSU and that their tone toward the survivors has not changed", she said. A successful resolution to the litigation is a positive step in moving us all forward.

Michigan State University has reached a $500 million settlement with the sexual abuse victims of former faculty member and sports team doctor Larry Nassar, seen here at his January 28 sentencing hearing. The Los Angeles archdiocese in 2007 paid $660 million to 508 victims.

Michigan State University is expected to pay the $500 million out of pocket and then sue their insurance company to get the money back, according to a source with knowledge of the settlement. The school was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints for years about Nassar.

Trustee Brian Breslin, chairman of MSU's governing board, said the school is "truly sorry" for what victims and their families went through and says the school recognizes a "need for change" in sexual assault awareness and prevention.

FILE PHOTO: Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands in court during his sentencing hearing in the Eaton County Court in Charlotte, Michigan, U.S., February 5, 2018.

6 News has confirmed reports that it is expected that the settlement will cost the school at least $500 million. Yet state lawmakers have expressed concerns over allowing the university to use state aid.

During its 2016-2017 school year, MSU raked in $859 million in tuition, comprising 29% share of its total revenue, according to its annual financial statement. If MSU's reputation has suffered from the scandal, it could see a drop in the number of students enrolling, which could lower that income. Its general fund budget is $1.36 billion. Ashley Ramchandani, a credit analyst with S&P Global Ratings, said it considers MSU to be in good shape financially with debt and could likely add some if needed. That's money that isn't legally contracted to a certain project, but often is set aside for particular projects. The rating drops MSU to Aa2 from Aa1, affecting approximately $975 million of rated debt. A MSU investigation cleared Nassar, saying the patient failed to understand the "nuanced difference" between abuse and medical treatment. The firm said it isn't sure how all the fallout will shake out.

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