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Mediator will attempt to help settle Nassar lawsuits

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Lawyers for Michigan State University and more than 200 girls and women say they will restart talks that could lead to a settlement in civil lawsuits related to sexual abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

In a court filing Tuesday, both parties say they are scheduling mediation with Layn Phillips, a former federal judge in Oklahoma.

The filing was made on the same day Nassar's former boss, MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine ex-dean William Strampel, was charged with crimes stemming from the Nassar investigation. Strampel is accused of failing to properly supervise Nassar and committing his own sexual misconduct.

MSU Interim President John Engler said in a statement:

"Michigan State University is pleased that mediation will restart. The university remains committed to reaching a fair settlement with all the survivors. Former Federal Judge Layn Phillips will be a strong, independent mediator, and we have confidence he will work hard to bring the parties to a resolution. “I came to MSU with the intention of concluding the lawsuits as soon as possible in a fair and just manner. The survivors should not have to endure years of litigation. The postponement of plaintiffs’ litigation responses until May 10 gives both parties time to enter into mediation and work toward an equitable settlement.”

Lawsuits have been filed against MSU, campus officials, USA Gymnastics and a Lansing-area gymnastics club. Nassar's victims say complaints about the doctor were ignored for years.

Nassar is serving decades in prison for sexual abuse and possessing child pornography.

This post was updated at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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