Abused gymnasts to receive settlement of over R6 billion

13 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Abused gymnasts to receive settlement of over R6 billion

The Chronicle

Los Angeles — Victims of jailed former US national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar are to receive $380 million after reaching a settlement with USA Gymnastics, thedoctor Larry Nassar and their insurers, attorneys said on Monday.

The settlement — one of the largest ever recorded for victims of sex abuse — ends a five-year legal battle that erupted following the abuse scandal that rocked the US Olympic movement.

Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in late 2017 and early 2018 to sexually assaulting athletes while working as a sports medicine doctor at USA Gymnastics (USAG) and Michigan State University (MSU).

Hundreds of women — including Olympic gold medallists such as Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney — have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them over the course of his more than two-decade career.

Monday’s settlement, which includes claims from Biles, Raisman and Maroney, was confirmed during a hearing in a federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis.

The deal means some $880 million in settlements have now been reached following an earlier $500 million settlement from MSU in 2018.

“We prevailed for one simple reason, the courage and tenacity of the survivors,” John Manly, who represents more than 180 women abused by Nassar, said in a statement confirming details of the agreement.

“These brave women relived their abuse publicly, in countless media interviews, so that not one more child will be forced to suffer physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in pursuit of their dreams.”

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with allegations against Nassar in 2016, welcomed Monday’s settlement.

“This chapter is finally closed,” Denhollander wrote on Twitter.

“Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin.

Whether or not justice comes and change is made, depends on what happens next.”

USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after a tidal wave of allegations against Nassar swamped the organisation.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Monday’s settlement was reached after the TIG Insurance Company agreed to pay a “substantial share” of the settlement.

The deal includes a $34 million payment directly from the USOPC, as well as a $6 million loan from the USOPC to USA Gymnastics.

As part of the agreement, a victim of abuse will be put on the board of directors of USA Gymnastics.

In September, Olympic champion Biles and other victims of Nassar gave devastating testimony in the US Senate, excoriating US sports officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to act against Nassar when complaints against the doctor first emerged.

— Reuters

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