OKEMOS, Mich – Last week, an independent law firm released it’s more than 200-page investigation into the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. The report includes Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee and their failures to protect athletes.
David Mittleman, an attorney with Grewal Law in Okemos, MI represents 111 Nassar survivors and helped secure $500 million in settlement money from MSU.
He told FOX 17 this independent report confirms what many already knew: that people at several organizations failed to report or acknowledge Nassar’s abuse.
“They’re all part of a club that none of them signed up for.”
Mittleman is referring to a ‘club’ of Larry Nassar abuse survivors, who he decided to take on as clients exactly two years ago, December 19th, 2016.
He said, “When we first got involved, we knew we had somewhat of an uphill legal battle.”
Mittleman is one of a handful of lawyers working across three Grewal Law locations representing 111 women and girls involved in current lawsuits with MSU, USAG, and the USOC.
He said, at first, survivors wanted to stay anonymous but eventually found strength attaching their name to the civil case.
“They wanted to make sure that this never happened again and if it did happen again, they wanted to make sure there was policy changes, procedures.”
The majority of Mittleman’s clients will now be getting an average of $1.28 million from MSU.
He said, “MSU has admitted responsibility, has become accountable and at least the first wave, the 333 survivors have, or are in the process of receiving their justice.”
More than 60 survivors still have ongoing claims against USAG and the USOC, claims that are somewhat in limbo due to USAG filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in early December.
Mittleman said, “You can’t do anything legally without having authorization from the bankruptcy trustee. The bankruptcy trustee right now is charged with the task of trying to collect representative samples of those who may be creditors.”
He went on to say that they’re now in a 60 to 90 day waiting period for others to file claims, then it’ll be a slow process before there’s any civil resolution.
“It could drag on for a year, two years perhaps, “ he said.
A new report from an independent law firm commissioned by the USOC details countless instances when Nassar’s abuse was reported, but overlooked.
Mittleman said the report will most likely play a key role in two upcoming trials for former MSU officials: President Lou Anna Simon and gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages.
Both are charged with lying to police and Klages is accused of knowing about Nassar’s abuse as early as 1997.
“We have clear evidence of her having done things that enabled him to continue for over two decades doing what he did. She was clearly the adult in the Jenison Field House and did not handle it as a mandatory reporter should,” Mittleman said.
He also said, while their legal battle is far from over, helping survivors start to get a little peace of mind, has been rewarding.
“Nassar is in jail…prison, and he’ll never see the light of day. That’s criminal justice.”
According to Mittleman, survivors should start receiving their settlement payouts from MSU shortly after the New Year.
He told FOX 17 they’re also monitoring an upcoming Michigan Court of Appeals hearing regarding arguments the Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was biased against Nassar during the sentencing she presided over in Ingham county.
A 3-judge panel granted that part of an appeal from Nassar last week