USA Gymnastics (USAG) reached an agreement on a proposed $425 million settlement with hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, coaches, or others affiliated with the sport, as reported by USA Today.
The survivors and USAG filed the joint settlement proposal in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Aug. 31. It is, however, not yet funded; several insurance carriers have yet to back it. Should these carriers choose not to fund the proposal, litigation will remain ongoing. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) expressed its support of the proposal, as well as urged insurance carriers to join in funding it.
“Under the new plan, the USOPC will contribute substantially to the compensation of the survivors,” the USOPC said in a statement. “There are, unfortunately, some insurance carriers that continue to withhold support for this plan, and we urge these carriers – in the strongest terms – to join the rest of the parties in supporting the plan’s fair resolution for the victims and survivors of abuse.”
An improvement from last year’s $215 million settlement proposal, the $425 million settlement would hold USOPC at least financially liable for Nassar’s sexual abuse. In the previous proposal, USOPC would have been freed of any legal liability for Nassar’s sexual abuse, despite the fact that Nassar worked at several Olympic Games. Survivors are waiting for the USOPC to acknowledge its role in allowing the sexual abuse to go unchecked.
For now, USAG remains hopeful that the settlement will end the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. If the settlement is funded, survivors have agreed to end their legal claims against USAG, the USOPC, and Béla and Márta Károlyi. This would allow USAG to exit bankruptcy.
“After extensive discussions, this plan has been jointly proposed by USA Gymnastics and the Committee, and it is supported by many of the involved insurers,” USAG stated. “We anticipate that this plan will be confirmed later this year and greatly appreciate all parties’ efforts to get to this point.”
The details on how much each survivor would be compensated remain hazy, as USAG must settle other debts relating to its 2018 bankruptcy filing. Some details that were included involve the steps USAG will take to prevent history from repeating itself, such as:
- Requiring local clubs as a condition of membership;
- Having a Safety Champion at each club to ensure rules are followed;
- Requiring adults with authority to complete Safe Sport training;
- Putting up posters on sexual abuse and how to report it; and
- Acknowledging that it (USAG) must report abuse when it is suspected.
These are very promising steps, but survivors have expressed the need for more concrete action. Still, the $425 million settlement proposal is a major victory for survivors. With more work, accountability is just around the corner.
Proudly Standing Up for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
At Grewal Law PLLC, we represented one-third of the first wave of survivors who took action against Nassar. In his time as a doctor at Michigan State University, he abused hundreds of women. We are proud to say our Michigan trial lawyers were instrumental in negotiating a $500 million settlement for these survivors. Now, we staunchly support survivors in their fight against USAG and USOPC.
We continue to advocate for survivors by taking on the institutions that failed to protect them, such as the University of Michigan for its part in covering up abuse perpetrated by Dr. Robert Anderson. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault, our attorney team is here to help. To request a free consultation, contact Grewal Law PLLC online.