USA Gymnastics Files Agreement For $425 Million Settlement With Survivors

by Emma Edmund 9

August 31st, 2021 News

USA Gymnastics has filed an agreement for a $425 million settlement with the “hundreds of women” who said they were abused by someone associated with the sport, including doctor Larry Nassar, USA Today reported

The agreement was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Although it has yet to be voted on by survivors and “other creditors,” the governing body said it expects them to accept. 

“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,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement to USA Today. “We anticipate that this plan will be confirmed later this year and greatly appreciate all parties’ efforts to get to this point.”

According to the Southern California News Group, the plan has only been approved by four of eight insurance providers, however.

The agreement also covers other USA Gymnastics debts the organization had when it filed for bankruptcy in 2018. At that time, the organization had 100 lawsuits representing over 350 athletes, but the bankruptcy filing wouldn’t affect how much money survivors could get. That money comes out of the organization’s insurance coverage. The bankruptcy itself was termed a reorganization, rather than a liquidation.

USA Gymnastics previously proposed a $215 million settlement for the women who said they were abused by Nassar. Nassar abused the athletes under the guise of medical treatment, and was later sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison in 2018. 

John Manly, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, called that settlement proposal “unconscionable.” With the $215 million proposal, the more than 500 survivors would’ve received $250,000-$300,000 each. By comparison, Nassar’s former employer Michigan State reached a $500 million agreement, where the athletes he abused received an average of $1.25 million each, according to The New York Times.

The proposal was also rejected because it allowed third parties, like the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, to avoid financial and other contributions while still getting released from the lawsuit. Back in 2018, the USOPC (then the USOC) filed an initial complaint to revoke USA Gymnastics as the national governing body of the sport. 

“This is a situation in which there are no perfect solutions. Seeking to revoke recognition is not a conclusion that we have come to easily,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement at the time. “In the short-term, we have to work to ensure that USAG gymnasts have the support necessary to excel on and off the field of play. We are building plans to do just that. In the long-term, it will be the critically important responsibility of the recognized Gymnastics NGB, whether the existing organization or a new one, to lead gymnastics in the United States and build on the supportive community of athletes and clubs that can carry the sport forward for decades to come. We are prepared to identify and help build such an organization.”

If they accept the new settlement, the survivors would agree to end claims against USA Gymnastics, coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi — who operated the since-shuttered Karolyi Ranch training center — and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

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Tim Tom
1 year ago

GymJump now?

Tim Tom
Reply to  Tim Tom
1 year ago

Or is it GymJam?

1 year ago

Actually surprised that insurers for USAG/USOPC will pay this much. If anyone drills down on situation, the FBI really messed up here and there was FBI agent corruption. US government should be kicking in big dollars. There was a lot more notice to enforcement authorities–and a lot sooner than people realize–about Nassar. FBI and other local authorities did not do their jobs.

1 year ago

peanuts that attorney fees will eat up. Sad.

1 year ago

Will a settlement actually result in definitive change to the culture that allows this to happen? There should be a fund where every single person who was in a position to act but didn’t should personally have to pay in addition to losing their job. This seems like business as usual to me.

Reply to  ProtectAthletes
1 year ago

I understand bureaucracy and the “letter” of the rule / law. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth having the conversation. Creating a better definition of “in a position to act” seems like a start. All I’m trying to say is actions like these don’t seem to lead to the fundamental change that is needed on this topic, even in our sport.

One parallel (in a sea of parallels) is the abuse of pharmaceutical companies pushing the use of Opioids (off label use, etc.) and settling / paying a fine, with many decision makers and stakeholders who looked the other way not facing consequences. What message does that send to the ‘leaders’ responsible for these decisions, and on-looking ‘leaders’ of… Read more »

Reply to  ProtectAthletes
1 year ago

Honestly, when I left that comment I thought we were talking about the Colorado/diabetes thing. My bad.

No, you’re right, this is a very different situation.

Corn Pop
1 year ago

In the end they lost in Tokyo. even after pushing Simone to inhuman levels of physical & mental expectation. Its very appropriate for this week in Afghanistan .

Last edited 1 year ago by Corn Pop
Kitajima Fan
Reply to  Corn Pop
1 year ago