MSU paid more than $20 million in second-wave Nassar settlements

Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Michigan State University is still feeling the effects of former sports doctor Larry Nassar’s misconduct.

And they’re still paying survivors for what they endured.

As president Samuel Stanley settles into his new role one of the biggest problems he has to solve on campus is relationship violence and sexual misconduct.

The 6 News team wanted to know how much money the school has paid in the last few years for policy violations, before Stanley took office.

We asked Michigan State for a list of all of the money they’ve paid in settlements and fees in relation to their employees violating their Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) policy since June of 2016.

As of May 2019, the school paid nearly $450 million. The majority of that money, $425 million to be exact, went to 332 Nassar survivors last August.

But the payments didn’t stop there.

MSU paid roughly $21 million dollars in Nassar settlements in 47 payments over a five month period, from December 2018 to May 2019. The payments are separate from the big settlement that went to first wave of survivors. They started at $60 thousand, and some payments stretched into seven figures.

Elizabeth Abdnour, who worked in the school’s Title IX office until 2018, says she’s not surprised by the dollar amount. She now works as an attorney at her own law firm, helping some of the second wave survivors through civil court– a process that’s taking some of them years.

“I have two clients right now whose investigations went on for more than 500 days,” Abdnour says. “So it’s not surprising to me, and in fact I think there are probably more that will be coming down the pipe.”

MSU leadership says they’re taking steps to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. Stanley appointed two people to an oversight committee who will focus specifically on RVSM policy violations.

“This is obviously an incredibly important issue for Michigan State University, and I wanted to make sure that I have people advising me who are an expert in this area,” Stanley says, “and because again I think there’s decisions that we’re making that can impact survivors in ways we haven’t thought about. I wanted to make sure those voices were at the table.”

Abdnour says all the MSU community and those close to it can do is wait and see if the school will deliver on its promises.

“This is not just a one and done, one bad guy, get rid of him type of situation,” Abdnour says of the Nassar scandal. “There are a lot of people in a lot of places at MSU who were complicit in this and I hope they continue to find those people and address it.”

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