USA Gymnastics, USOPC to Pay $380M to Larry Nassar Survivors After Settling Lawsuit

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2021

United States gymnasts from left, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, arrive to testify during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the Inspector General's report on the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar investigation on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Washington. Nassar was charged in 2016 with federal child pornography offenses and sexual abuse charges in Michigan. He is now serving decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State and Indiana-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)
Saul Loeb/Pool via AP

USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will pay $380 million to the survivors of former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar's abuse, as well as other survivors of abuse by coaches and others involved in the sport, after reaching a settlement in a yearslong lawsuit.

USA Today's Nancy Armour reported USA Gymnastics and the USOPC will also meet "several other nonmonetary provisions" to settle the suit. Survivors of Nassar's abuse were previously awarded $500 million in a lawsuit filed against Michigan State University, which also employed the convicted serial sexual abuser, per ESPN's Dan Murphy and John Barr.

"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. The power of their story eventually won the day," said attorney John Manly, who represented the plaintiffs.

Among the nonmonetary agreements in the settlement is a requirement that USA Gymnastics creates a restorative justice program "that will give survivors significant influence over how the organization addresses sexual assault issues in the future," per Murphy and Barr.

According to Armour, the settlement will also require a survivor to hold at least one seat on the USAG board and survivors will also be part of the organization's health and safety and Safe Sport committees. Member clubs will also be required to post information in their gyms on how to report sexual abuse and have staff undergo Safe Sport training.

Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and federal child pornography charges in multiple criminal cases in 2017 and 2018. More than 180 women and girls he had seen as patients said he sexually assaulted them while he was working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. The number of victims is at least 265 women, many of whom were minors at the time of Nassar's abuse. 

He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years and 40 to 125 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct and another 60 years for obtaining and possessing child pornography. 

Per Murphy and Barr, "Multiple investigations found that officials from USA Gymnastics, the USOPC and Michigan State University failed to stop Nassar's abuse despite years of complaints and warning signs."

Concerns about Nassar were first raised by a parent at the Twistars Gymnastics Club in 1997. A student-athlete at MSU said she reported Nassar to team coaches and trainers in 1998 but said the school did not take action based on her report; a second student-athlete reported Nassar in 2000 but said the university again failed to take any action.

"This 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," attorney Sarah Klein told ESPN.

Among the women who publicly accused Nassar were Olympic medalists McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.