USA Gymnastics has proposed that it pay out $215 million combined to the hundreds of women who say they were abused by Larry Nassar, and has filed a plan to emerge from bankruptcy, the OC Register’s Scott Reid reported Thursday.
The national governing body is facing numerous suits accusing it of failing to protect the women from Nassar’s abuse, which he perpetrated under the guise of it being necessary medical treatment. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison in 2018, and later that year, USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy.
The settlement offer, which was promptly called “unconscionable” by John Manly, a lawyer representing more than 200 of the plaintiffs, was made as part of the reorganization plan filed in the federal bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Indiana, Reid reported.
“I’m not in a position to reject it, but in speaking to my clients and other lawyers, there’s a better chance of Donald Trump endorsing Bernie Sanders than the victims accepting this offer,” Manly said Thursday.
USA Gymnastics’ offer gives survivors, as a group, two options: accept the $215 million to settle all claims, or vote to continue to pursue lawsuits and collect judgments from USA Gymnastics’ insurance policies. The proposal would limit the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s liability, Reid reported.
If the plaintiffs accept the proposed agreement, the insurers for the Michigan gym Twistars, where Nassar routinely treated young athletes, would contribute an additional $2.125 million to the settlement amount.
For comparison, Michigan State — Nassar’s employer of approximately 20 years — reached a $500 million settlement two years ago with survivors of Nassar’s abuse. In that agreement, victims received an average of $1.25 million, according to the New York Times. Under USA Gymnastics’ proposal, the more than 500 accusers would receive about $250,000 to $300,000, Manly said.