The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has sued its insurance providers, accusing them of delaying settlement negotiations with the hundreds of girls and women who were sexually abused by past Olympics gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar.
“For nearly a year and a half, we have actively participated in the mediation process in an effort to achieve a fair and just resolution for the victims and survivors,” said USOPC chair Susanne Lyons in a conference call attended by Reuters.
“Because the insurance companies, in our belief, have not lived up to their contractual obligations to the USOPC - including not acting fairly and in good faith and in exploring whether a reasonable settlement can be achieved - we were forced to file this lawsuit,” she said.
Nassar is serving a 300-year sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting children and possession of child pornography in 2018. He was found to have assaulted hundreds of girls and women during his decades-long career in sports medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) and the USA gymnastics national team.
That same year, MSU agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims with more than 300 survivors who said they were sexually assaulted Nassar. The university was earlier accused of dismissing complaints about the disgraced doctor.
In late February, USA Gymnastics offered a $215 million settlement to more than 140 victims. The USOPC and USA Gymnastics have been involved in a mediation process with the survivors.
“The lawsuit seeks to have a court resolve the issues related to the insurers’ obligations as part of our efforts to achieve a fair resolution for the victims and survivors,” said Lyons.
“We deeply regret the amount of time this complicated mediation has taken and we want nothing more than a swift and fair resolution to give some closure to the survivor community.”