USA Gymnastics has offered to pay a $215 million settlement to the over 300 plaintiffs who are the alleged victims of the disgraced former national team doctor, Larry Nassar.
The group of victims, that includes Olympic gymnasts, filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics for failing to protect them from Nassar. The defendant, USA Gymnastics (USAG) is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States and is responsible for selecting and training national teams for the Olympic Games and World Championships.
This came forth after Nassar was sentenced in January of 2018 to 40 – 175 years in prison for sexual assault of minors and in February to 40 – 125 years in prison for abusing underage females under the guise of medical care and treatment.
In 2016, Nassar was indicted on criminal charges of sexual assault of a child from 1998-2005 and was arrested at the end of the same year for child pornography and a video of him molesting underage girls. In July 2017, he pleaded guilty to two counts of child pornography and one of tampering with evidence, and in November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors under the age of sixteen. It was after these convictions that his victims began to take civil actions against him and USA Gymnastics.
A lawyer who represents more than 200 athletes in this suit, John C. Manly, has criticized the offer, saying it is, “Not just unworkable, it is unconscionable.” He went on to say that he is not in a position to reject it but does not see the victims accepting this offer.
The settlement offer is one of two options that USA Gymnastics has offered the plaintiffs. The other option is for the plaintiffs to vote to continue to pursue their lawsuits and collect judgments from USA Gymnastics’ insurance policies. USA Gymnastics said that the option the group votes on will apply to the entire group.
If the group accepts USA Gymnastics’ settlement offer, it would allow them to emerge from bankruptcy.