Larry Nassar Argues Sexual Abuse of Gymnasts was Medical MalpracticeJanuary 23, 2019
Disgraced gymnast physician Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for his decades of sexual abuse of hundreds of female athletes. After pleading guilty in court, he claimed that he only did so because he lost support from the medical community, not because he felt genuine remorse for the physical and emotional abuse he inflicted on his victims. According to a report from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, Nassar believes that his actions were not criminal, and should have been handled as a medical malpractice case.
For decades, Nassar treated hundreds of female athletes while he was employed by Michigan State University (MSU) and USA Gymnastics. According to the Chief of Investigations at the Attorney General’s Office, MSU mishandled the case by issuing misleading public statements, withholding important documents, and providing irrelevant documents to investigators. The university also challenged a court order to produce additional documents relevant to the investigation, including thousands of emails and text messages. Investigators believe that the MSU officials showed more concern about protecting the university’s reputation than they were with cooperating with investigators and ensuring that this type of widespread abuse does not happen again.
University Failed to Protect Victims
According to the ongoing investigation, more than 11 MSU employees failed to report Nassar’s abuse. Others downplayed the seriousness of his actions or discouraged the victims from speaking out against Nassar. While each of the survivor’s accounts varied, there was a clear pattern that emerged. MSU gave Nassar the benefit of the doubt over the young women who came forward.
The Michigan State Police assisted investigators in interviewing close to 550 witnesses, including 280 survivors. In addition to Nassar, three other individuals associated with MSU have been charged, including a former MSU gymnastics coach, the former MSU Dean of Osteopathic Medicine, and former MSU President. In addition, charges were filed against two former officials at USA Gymnastics.
MSU issued a statement in response to the allegations, saying that they were sorry that Nassar hurt so many female athletes, and that the university would be taking proactive steps to change the culture at the university to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and the community are safe. Unfortunately, university officials turned a blind eye for years, resulting in the abuse of hundreds of women and girls. According to the Chief, Nassar believed that the treatments he performed on the female athletes were medical in nature, and not carried out for his own pleasure. He also failed to provide investigators with the names of individuals at MSU who helped cover up his crimes.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Victims of Medical Negligence
If you have been injured while receiving treatment from a healthcare professional, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve and ensure that your legal rights are protected. If your injury was the result of a sexual assault, you are urged to file a criminal lawsuit against your abuser. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.