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Lawsuits & Litigation

Settlement Talks Stall Between Michigan State University, Nassar Victims

— April 25, 2019

At least 55 cases remain unsettled in the second wave of Nassar-related litigation.

Settlement talks between Michigan State University and dozens of Nassry victims have reportedly hit a dead-end without any agreements reached.

The Detroit Free Press reports that at least 55 cases remain unsettled. All are related to former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar, accused and convicted of abusing hundreds of young women and girls at Michigan State medical facilities and in off-campus offices.

Altogether, the cases constitute but part of 160 complaints filed against the university between spring and summer of 2018.

“The Wave 2 settlement discussions are continuing to move forward, and these filings are just one step in the process regarding the overall mediation,” said MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant. “While we have already settled some of the Wave 2 cases, it is still our goal to resolve all of them, and MSU continues to work with the plaintiffs and their lawyers to negotiate the settlements.”

The first wave of lawsuits, notes the Free Press, were settled for $500 million. Of that amount, $425 million will be forwarded to claimants while the remainder has been set aside for future and additional lawsuits. Disbursals are controlled by a special administrator; not every claimant will receive the same amount.

Michigan State University. Image by Ryan J. Farrick.

Despite the separation of two waves, the cases in the second round of litigation are similar to those in the first.

The Free Press gives the example of Tiffani Berra, who broke her foot during a gymnastics exposition in 1997. She was 14 at the time, given a cast and walking boot.

Not long after, she developed hip problems. Everyone, recounts the Free Press, told Berra and her parents that Larry Nassar was the only physician worth seeing.

Berra claims that, on her second visit, Nassar digitally penetrated her. The osteopathic doctor often conflated molestation with legitimate medical procedures, claiming they were one and the same.

In other cases, Nassar would rub or massage victims’ buttocks and breasts.

“As I laid on the table, I just wanted it to end,” Berra told the Detroit Free Press. “There was pain. There was discomfort.”

Nassar’s reputation was such that his assaults continued more or less without interruption for nearly two decades, even after being put through an administrative tribunal.

In March, a Michigan police investigator publicly apologized for falling for Nassar’s ruse.

“I believed his lies,” Meridian Township Detective Andrew McCready said.

McCready, according to National Public Radio, never forwarded a victim’s complaint about Nassar to prosecutors because he didn’t believe any crime had been committed. At the time, McCready was a ‘relatively inexperienced’ investigator with less than nine months on the job.

Following the complaint, Nassar allegedly acknowledged that he may have erred. However, he didn’t confess to a crime—instead, he simply agreed to change the procedure to avoid causing any other patients discomfort.


Michigan Officer Says He Botched Investigation, Believed Larry Nassar’s ‘Lies’

Nassar victim: Investigator’s report gives ‘answers that will help in my healing’

Settlement talks stall between MSU and Nassar victims in 55 lawsuits

Who is Larry Nassar?

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