Details to be ironed out in Nassar settlement

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News
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Larissa Boyce (center) speaks about sexual assault allegations against former MSU physician Larry Nassar during a press conference with Attorney's Mick Grewal (left) and David Mittleman in Okemos on Friday March 24, 2017.

Attorneys for Michigan State University and Larry Nassar's accusers are drafting language for the final document outlining the $500 million settlement with more than 300 women who sued the school over his sexual abuse.

The document will guide the settlement that was agreed to in principle last month with more than 300 accusers of Nassar, a former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor who sexually assaulted young women for decades under the guise of medical treatment. 

The average award for Nassar's accusers is expected to be $1.2 million -- 10 to 14 times what sexual assault victims typically receive in Michigan, according to John Manly, who represents most of the women who sued MSU and other institutions. 

And the total amounts the plaintiffs receive from Nassar-related litigation are likely to grow, since lawyers for the young women have not yet settled with the other defendants: USAG, the United States Olympic Committee, Twistars USA Gymnastics Club and John Geddert.

The final agreement between MSU and Nassar's accusers is expected to be completed within two to three weeks, said Mick Grewal, an Okemos-based attorney who represents one-third of the more than 300 plaintiffs in the historic settlement.

"Each plaintiff has to sign off on the agreement," Grewal said.

After the terms of the agreement are accepted by all parties, Michigan State will have to deposit the money into a qualified settlement fund account within 30 days, said Okemos-based attorney David Mittleman.

A national allocator will determine individual settlement awards based on a variety of factors, such as whether the victim was a minor when the assaults occurred, how many times they saw Nassar and whether penetration was involved.

Of the $500 million settlement, $75 million will be set aside for potential future claims. If the $75 million is not used, it will go back to the current plaintiffs.

The time frame for completing the settlement awards could be 60 days to four months, attorneys involved in the case say.

There will be an internal appeals processfor those who are not satisfied with their award, Manly said.

Regardless, the money plays only a small part in the healing for Nassar's accusers, Mittleman said.

"There is no amount money that you could put down that would compensate what happened to them," said Mittleman. "This will bring a little closure. But they know there is still a lot to fight for … this is a good first step."


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