Michigan State Settles Worst Sex-Abuse Case in Sports History for $500M

Michigan State Settles Worst Sex-Abuse Case in Sports History for $500M

For the last 2 years, the sports world has been dealing with the aftershock of allegations by more than 300 women and girls that they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar treated many campus athletes and gymnasts at his Michigan State office. He pleaded guilty and is now in prison. Michigan State was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints about Nassar, some as far back as the 1990s. After prolonged litigation, the school has now agreed to settle for $500M, by far the largest settlement in a university sex abuse case.

The settlement only applies to Michigan State. Litigation is still ongoing against other parties including USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and an elite gymnastics club in the Lansing, Michigan-area.

This case is horrifying because of how long the abuse occurred and the large number of victims. More startling is that even Olympian athletes were afraid to come forward illustrating how hard it is for victims to make complaints. The case has led to several high-profile resignations and promised changes in how complaints will be handled. However, as part of the settlement, plaintiffs were required to withdraw their support for two bills passed by the state Senate which would make it harder for defendants to defend against claims.

It’s important for victims to feel that they can make complaints without fear of reprisal or that they won’t be believed. They need attorneys willing to take their cases despite the risks. We see attorneys every day who take challenging cases not knowing whether they will prevail, and if they do win, when they may get paid. Not every lawyer can afford to handle these matters.

RapidFunds® helps law firms who are waiting for settlement checks to come in. With our post-settlement legal funding, we buy a portion of your legal fee from settled cases to give you the money you need to run your practice. To learn more about how post-settlement funding can help your firm, visit RapidFunds® Frequently Asked Questions page or contact Sherry Foley, Esq. at sfoley@rapidfunds.com for more information.