MSU Mediation Ends With Agreement

The settlement announced yesterday between Michigan State University and 332 assault victims of MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar has to be one of the largest mediated settlements ever: $500 million. The parties whose lawsuits were in federal court attempted mediation last year, reaching a partial agreement. After Nassar was sentenced this past January, all of the parties agreed to mediation with a different mediator, former federal judge Layn Phillips. The mediation lasted just a couple of weeks.

The settlement involves only money. While survivors spoke with disappointment afterwards about other goals not met – from changing the MSU culture to receiving an apology — , in the end they must have decided to pursue those goals outside of mediation, rather than prolong the mediation.

One question on Michigan taxpayers’ minds: where will MSU come up with the money? Is it possible that the University has insurance coverage this broad? Or will it, as a public institution, look to the State for help?

Or is MSU hoping to raise the money from alumni? Is it just a coincidence that we received a phone call today from MSU asking for a donation? Having an alum in the family, we contribute annually – every December. So why is MSU calling us in May, just days after promising a half billion dollars to lawsuit plaintiffs? The student caller insisted there was no connection — of course.