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Larry Nassar victims reach $380 million settlement with USA Gymnastics, U.S. Olympic Committee and insurers



CNN

USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and their insurers have agreed to pay $380 million as part of a settlement with victims of Larry Nassar, the former Olympic doctor who sexually abused girls for decades.

Judge Robyn L. Moberly of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana formally approved the settlement in court Monday.

“The plan has been overwhelmingly accepted by all parties to this bankruptcy. The court certainly finds it doable,” Moberly said.

The settlement is part of the USAG’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy as an organization struggled to recover from the Nassar scandal.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement that the settlement, which also includes non-monetary commitments focused on the safety and well-being of athletes, will see it emerge from bankruptcy by the end of 2021.

“USA Gymnastics is deeply sorry for the trauma and pain survivors have endured as a result of the actions and inactions of this organization,” USAG President and CEO Li Li Leung said in a statement. communicated. “The reorganization plan that we jointly filed reflects our own responsibility for the past and our commitment to the future.

“Individually and collectively, survivors have bravely stepped forward to advocate for lasting change in the sport. We are committed to working with them, and with the entire gymnastics community, to ensure that we continue to prioritize the safety, health and well-being of our athletes and our community above all else. .

A $425 million settlement proposal has been already submitted in August, but an amended settlement of $380 million was later agreed. The majority of the settlement will be paid by insurers, but the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will pay about $34.4 million and loan USA Gymnastics about $6.1 million to pay its share of the settlement, according to court documents.

This is the second nine-figure settlement for victims of Nassar abuse. In 2018, Michigan State University agreed to pay $500 million to settle lawsuits filed by 332 victims of Nassar.

Nassar, a longtime doctor for the US gymnastics team and Michigan State University, is serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on child pornography charges. He was also sentenced to a state prison sentence of 40 to 175 years in Michigan after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.

As part of a plea deal, he admitted to using his trusted medical position to assault and assault girls under the guise of medical treatment for approximately two decades.

To his conviction in Michigan in 2018more than 150 women – including Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney – publicly stated in court that he had sexually assaulted them. A number of women said they had previously reported the abuse, but authority systems, including USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Michigan State University, did not take their concerns seriously.

In addition, the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice issued a scathing report in July saying that senior FBI field office officials in Indianapolis failed to respond to Nassar’s allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency, made numerous fundamental errors in responding, and violated several FBI policies during of their investigative activity.

The $380 million settlement also includes a provision to dedicate at least one USA Gymnastics board seat to a survivor of Nassar’s sexual abuse, according to court documents.

Additionally, at least one member of the organization’s two committees dedicated to sports safety and athlete welfare will be reserved for a survivor of Nassar abuse. A process for selecting people to fill those positions is still being worked out, but USA Gymnastics is committed to abiding by the provisions, the documents say.

The non-monetary terms of the settlement also include reforms to the organization’s training and practices regarding athlete safety and proper misconduct reporting.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse, tweeted monday that she is “proud of the non-monetary reform commitments in particular” and said she is “looking forward to seeing these changes come to fruition”.

“That chapter is closed, but the real restoration work has only just begun,” Denhollander said.

John C. Manly, the lead attorney representing Nassar’s victims, released a statement on Monday confirming the “historic” settlement.

“Survivors have now received a total of $880 million in compensation for their pain and suffering at the hands of this monster and the institutions that enabled it, Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. These organizations have spent over $100 million on corporate lawyers to escape legal and moral responsibility.

“We triumphed for one simple reason, the courage and tenacity of the survivors. These brave women have relived their abuse publicly, in countless media interviews, so that no more children will be forced to endure physical, emotional or sexual abuse in pursuit of their dreams.

Manly also called for criminal charges against FBI officials who failed to investigate Nassar and gymnastics and Olympics officials who “conspired” with them.

“We will continue to seek justice on behalf of the hundreds of little girls and young women who have been attacked as a direct result of their obstruction of justice,” he said.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland also released a statement on the deal.

“We are grateful to have found a solution with the surviving athletes. We have the deepest respect for the extraordinary strength and bravery shown by these women. We recognize our role in the failure to protect these athletes and we are sorry for the profound hurt they have endured,” his statement read.

“Achieving financial resolution is an extremely important part of the ongoing transformation within our organization. In addition to actively participating in mediation and assisting in settlement, the USOPC has enacted sweeping reforms to our governance structure to address sexual abuse, support athletes and survivors, and strengthen the protection of athletes from all forms of abuse. ‘abuse. Our determination to make Olympic and Paralympic sport safe for all guides everything we do. This is our commitment, today and every day,” he said.