DOJ Agrees to $139M Settlement with Sexual Abuse Victims of Former USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this week revealed a $138.7 million settlement agreement with sexual abuse victims of the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar. The settlement aims to resolve the victims’ claims against the FBI, which allege that the agency failed to properly investigate allegations of sexual abuse involving Nassar. This landmark settlement comes as a result of 139 tort claims filed against the DOJ and the FBI in 2022, with numerous athletes and patients, including Simone Biles, Maggie Nichols, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman, stepping forward to report the abuse.

FBI’s Failure to Investigate Sexual Abuse Allegations

Larry Nassar, a former physician and USA Gymnastics official, is accused of sexually abusing hundreds of victims over nearly two decades. His actions went undetected until 2016 when he was arrested by the State of Michigan. The settlements reached in this lawsuit address administrative claims against the United States, specifically highlighting the FBI’s failure to conduct a thorough investigation into Nassar’s conduct. The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report in July 2021, which criticized certain aspects of the FBI’s response and investigation regarding Nassar.

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer emphasized the severity of Nassar’s abuse, stating in a DOJ press release dated April 23, 2024, “For decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those under his care and medical supervision while skirting accountability. These allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset. While these settlements won’t undo the harm Nassar inflicted, our hope is that they will help give the victims of his crimes some of the critical support they need to continue healing.”

The $138.7 Million Settlement with the DOJ

The settlement agreements, approved by the Department of Justice, will distribute a total of $138.7 million to the claimants involved in the claim. These settlements acknowledge the pain and suffering endured by Nassar’s victims and aim to provide them with the necessary resources for healing and recovery. While the financial compensation cannot undo the damage caused by Nassar, it represents a step towards accountability and justice.

Institutional Abuse within National Organizations

The claims against Larry Nassar and the subsequent settlement with the DOJ highlight the widespread issue of institutional abuse within sports organizations like USA Gymnastics and other national organizations, like Boy Scouts of America. The abuse endured by Nassar’s victims raises questions about the mechanisms in place to protect young athletes and the responsibility of institutions to address allegations promptly and thoroughly.

This lawsuit has sparked a national conversation about the importance of safeguarding athletes and preventing instances of institutional abuse in the future. It serves as a wake-up call for institutions to prioritize the safety and well-being of their athletes, implement robust reporting mechanisms, and take immediate action when allegations arise.

The Impact on Sexual Abuse Victims

The settlement with the DOJ offers a glimmer of hope for Larry Nassar’s victims, who have fought tirelessly for justice. In addition to providing compensation to help cover medical expenses, therapy costs, and other support services crucial for their recovery, the settlement serves as validation for the victims, acknowledging the pain and suffering they endured at the hands of Larry Nassar. It sends a message to survivors of abuse that their voices matter and that institutions will be held accountable for their failures to put a stop to or appropriately respond to allegations of sexual abuse.

Through continued efforts to reform reporting mechanisms, improve investigation protocols, and provide comprehensive support services, institutions like USA Gymnastics and Boy Scouts of America can help prevent future instances of abuse and support survivors on their journey to recovery and justice.

Institutional Abuse Lawsuit Information

Sex abuse lawsuits against USA Gymnastics and other negligent institutions accuse doctors and trusted authority figures of abusing their positions of power and sexually assaulting vulnerable individuals.
Scroll to Top