Michigan State University, which has been accused of protecting serial abuser Larry Nassar, has reached a $500 million settlement with 332 of his victims—women and girls who brought lawsuits against the university.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the university will have to pay $425 million of that sum now—roughly $1.3 million per victim. It will hold another $75 million in reserve in case others come forward to sue.
A spokeswoman for MSU says the university does not yet know exactly how it will pay the sum, and how much will be covered by its insurance.
In a joint statement with the victims, the university said that there were no confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements attached to the settlement.
In a statement, MSU’s board called the settlement a “positive step.” “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,” the board said in the statement. “We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention.”
Nassar, who worked as a doctor for MSU for decades, was sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges in December. Later, he was sentenced to 40–125 years for sexual assault in two different counties. He was accused of assaulting hundreds of girls and women, usually during medical appointments.
MSU officials first learned of allegations against Nassar in 1997, when two gymnasts told a coach about their abuse. Others have said they came forward in the following years. In 2014, the school cleared him in a Title IX investigation. The school fired him in 2016 after the Indianapolis Star published a report of some of the allegations. One survivor claims that, in March, MSU’s interim president offered her a payoff.
USA Gymnastics, Twistars gymnastics club, and other groups blamed and sued for enabling Nassar were not involved in the settlement.