Michigan State University has reached a settlement with survivors of Larry Nassar, the former doctor who abused hundreds of women and girls while he was employed by the university.
The $500-million settlement was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees during a conference call on Tuesday night. $425-million of it will be paid to 332 sexual abuse survivors of Larry Nassar. The remaining $75-million will be held in reserve for “future claimants alleging sexual abuse” by Nassar.
The settlement will not include confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements.
Nassar survivor Larissa Boyce writes in a statement that she is very happy there has been a resolution but is, “disappointed that they were not able to come to an agreement with non-monetary requests… even something as simple as a true apology.”
When Boyce was a teenager in the late nineties she told her gymnastics coach Kathy Klages that she was uncomfortable with Nassar’s treatments.
Boyce says in her statement today, “I will not rest until we see changes in policy at MSU and state legislation in order to further shine a light on the culture of abuse that exists in our society. Writing a check does not bring healing to me as a survivor. We still have a long way to go in order to ensure our children are safer and people will be held accountable for their actions or inaction. My healing will come through our continued fight to protect our children.”
Rachel Denhollander was the first to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse. She released a statement today in response to the settlement saying she is thankful the litigation phase is over so she and her sister survivors can move forward.
She says, “moving forward for myself and many others means continuing to advocate, to call for accountability, and stand for those who have yet to have a voice.”
Denhollander writes that she will continue to advocate for accountability and change at US Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee, and she calls for the Michigan House of Representatives to take a stand for survivors and pass the reform package, which she says is desperately needed as the first step in legislative reform.
For the many MSU students asking themselves what comes next,
Outgoing Student Body Vice President Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah has a message. She says now that the settlement has been made, students have to keep pushing the administration to follow through and make the changes they need to make, like finding a president.
“You have to keep pressure on them to make sure that that presidential search happens soon, has a really inclusive process, and also that they are bringing someone in who knows how to handle changing the culture on campus and who is invested in listening to the voices of the MSU community.”
Appiagyei-Dankah echoes many Nassar survivors when she says she too, is happy the settlement has been reached, but there is still a lot left to do.