500th lawsuit filed against Michigan State over Larry Nassar sexual abuse claims
- Monday marked the deadline for claims against Michigan State University in connection with the $500 million settlement fund it established for victims of sexual abuse by confessed former sports doctor Larry Nassar, raising the total number of lawsuits against the university from 332 in May to 500, The Detroit News reported.
- One of the lawsuits alleges MSU knew of the abuse five years earlier than previously thought. A former student-athlete filed a lawsuit saying Nassar raped her in 1992 and then-athletic director George Perles, who is currently on the university's board of trustees, covered it up.
- MSU announced in May that it was establishing a fund that would award $425 million to the current claimants and set aside $75 million for future claimants.
High-profile cases such as that at Michigan State and, previously, Penn State, have shed a spotlight on the issue of sexual misconduct on college campuses and how administrators address the related complaints. Recently cases have unfolded at the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Rochester and The Ohio State University.
With several of these cases involving physician abuse, colleges across the country are taking action to oversee those services and ensure students know their rights, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Some institutions have begun to require that an observer be present during exams and other medical procedures. And many experts are calling for greater diligence into physicians' background checks and record keeping.
In 2016 and 2017, major public universities paid more than $10. 5 million in settlements for 59 sexual-harassment claims across 22 universities and systems, The Wall Street Journal reported. Such cases could also impact enrollment. In the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, which included an FBI report finding administrators were complicit in the coverup, student applications fell 9%, according to the Detroit Free Press.