U.S.A. Gymnastics and U.S. Olympic Committee to Pay $380M to Settle Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Parties on all sides overwhelmingly approved settlement agreement, which will allow USA Gymnastics to emerge from bankruptcy

More than 500 survivors of sexual abuse by former Olympics gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, coaches and others have agreed to a $380 million settlement, which will also allow the U.S.A. Gymnastics organization to come out of bankruptcy.

USA Gymnastics announced the sex abuse settlement this week, which was reached between it, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and the Survivors’ Committee. The joint Plan of Reorganization was approved by Judge Robyn L. Moberly of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Monday, which will allow USA Gymnastics to come out of bankruptcy by the end of the year.

According to testimony presented by more than 150 women and girls, Nassar sexually molested young female gymnasts during medical examinations since at least the early 1990s in his role as a team physician and assistant professor at MSU, and as a USA Gymnastics Medical Coordinator.

Many of the women, who call themselves the Sister Survivors, indicate they told USA Gymnastics officials, Michigan State University (MSU) staff,  and others about Nassar’s behavior, but were discouraged from reporting the incidents. Some testimony even suggested officials told the survivors they simply did not know the difference between sexual assault and a medical examination. However, after victims began to step forward publicly, the abuse finally got over-due attention and Nassar was arrested, tried, and found guilty on multiple charges.

More than 500 of the girls and women who were assaulted by Nassar and other Olympic coaches and doctors filed lawsuits against USA Gymnastics and the Olympic committee for failing to take action and protect often very underaged girls from what were obviously sexual predators.

“USA Gymnastics is deeply sorry for the trauma and pain that Survivors have endured as a result of this organization’s actions and inactions,” USA Gymnastics President and CEO Li Li Leung said in the press release. “The Plan of Reorganization that we jointly filed reflects our own accountability to the past and our commitment to the future.”

The plan includes $380 million in payments to the sexual abuse survivors, of which most will be paid by insurers. However, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will also pay about $34.4 million into the settlement fund, and will loan USA Gymnastics $6.1 million to cover its part of the settlement agreement requirements.

All of the parties, including the survivors and insurers, overwhelmingly agreed to the settlement details in late November, USA Gymnastics indicates.

In May 2018, MSU reached a $500 million settlement specifically with those abused by Nassar, who was an assistant professor there when much of the abuse occurred. The global agreement included $425 million for the currently known survivors, and another $75 million was set aside for any new survivors who stepped forward in the future.

Nassar will spend the rest of his life in jail, having received a federal sentence of 60 years on child pornography charges. He has also received two additional sentences; including one for 40 to 175 years, and another of 40 to 125 years from verdicts in two Michigan courts.

Survivors have said they are satisfied with the settlement, and Nassar’s sentence, but also called for systemic changes in how USA Gymnastics, the Olympic Committee and MSU prioritizes and safeguards its athletes.


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