EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -- - Officials at Michigan State University are calling the settlement of lawsuits filed by hundreds of survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse a positive step for the survivors and the university.
The settlement will cost the school at least $500 million. Of that, $425 million will go to survivors who currently have claims against the university. The remaining $75 million will be placed into a fund and used for future claims.
Interim President John Engler released a statement, saying the settlement was "an important step in the healing process for both the survivors, but also for the university as we collectively move forward. I thank all who have worked so hard to get to this fair and equitable outcome."
"A successful mediation has a been a priority for the university and for me since I arrived on campus in February. The entire MSU community has worked hard at changes to make sure a monster like Larry Nassar could never hide again on our campus. We also are working every day to prevent sexual misconduct on our campus and have a community that respects women and all who work or visit here. Today’s announcement is important in the healing process for both the survivors, but also for the university as we collectively move forward. I thank all who have worked so hard to get to this fair and equitable outcome."
MSU Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Breslin also released a statement shortly after the settlement was announced:
"We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories. We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention. A successful resolution to the litigation is a positive step in moving us all forward. We will continue working as a Board to address the necessary changes and improvements that are needed at our university.
"We appreciate the hard work of the mediator and the parties involved in coming to this fair resolution."
6 News also spoke with MSU Trustee Joel Ferguson, who agreed the settlement was a positive step for the survivors and the university.
"I think the settlement we bring closure for the victims and survivors," he said. It's a good day, especially for the survivors, and it's a good day for us to where we're going to work hard to be better going forward."
Ferguson also vowed the board's work would not stop.
"We're gonna be working extra hard to make certain nothing like this ever happens again, and that we make certain our campus is really safe and we have the checks and balances so a person like Nassar could never slip through the cracks," he said.
He also praised the work of MSU Interim President John Engler, Breslin and Special Counsel to MSU and former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young, who he credits with making the settlement possible.
"Without them, we couldn't have brought closure to this chapter," Ferguson said.
MSU trustee Brian Mosallam, who recently released proposals aiming to change the university's culture, weighed in on the settlement on Twitter.
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