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USOPC suing insurance carriers, blaming them for lack of settlement with Nassar survivors

USOPC suing insurance carriers, blaming them for lack of settlement with Nassar survivors

With no settlement in sight after almost a year and a half of mediation with Larry Nassar survivors, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is suing its insurance carriers, accusing them of stalling the process. 



a sign on the side of a road: The Olympic rings are seen, in Tokyo.


© Jae C. Hong, AP
The Olympic rings are seen, in Tokyo.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in a Colorado district court and obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the USOPC claims that 11 insurance companies have not met their contractual obligations and “failed to honor their promises to the USOPC.”

“This 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,” board chair Susanne Lyons said Friday.

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“We feel additional work needs to be done to get to a place of settlement,” she added.

Olympic champions Simone Biles and Aly Raisman are among more than 500 girls and young women who have sued USA Gymnastics and the USOPC, saying they were sexually abused by Nassar, their coach or someone else affiliated with the sport. The lawsuits were put on hold when USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in December 2018, and the federation must reach a settlement with survivors as part of its plan to emerge from the proceedings.

If it doesn’t, the bankruptcy case could be dismissed and the lawsuits would resume.

In its lawsuit against its insurance carriers, the USOPC continued to deny legal responsibility for Nassar’s abuse, saying he was not an employee and had no direct relationship with the USOPC. Nassar was the longtime team physician for both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, but did work as a Team USA physician at several Olympic Games. 

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USOPC Suing Insurance Carriers for Allegedly Delaying Larry Nassar Settlements | Bleacher Report

USOPC Suing Insurance Carriers for Allegedly Delaying Larry Nassar Settlements | Bleacher Report

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2018, file photo, Larry Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics and member of Michigan State's sports medicine staff, sits in court during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Mich. MSU is defending itself against a second wave of lawsuits related to Nassar but says it wants to reach a deal with the additional assault victims. MSU defended itself in a court filing Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. It says it's immune to liability for Nassar's crimes, no matter how

Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee reportedly filed a lawsuit in a Colorado district court on Thursday against its insurance carriers, claiming they are delaying payments stemming from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse fallout.

Nancy Armour and Tom Schad of USA Today reported the news, noting the USOPC has not reached a settlement with the more than 500 girls and young women who sued the organization and USA Gymnastics because they said they were sexually abused by Nassar or others within the sport. 

Mediation has lasted approximately a year and a half, and USOPC said the 11 insurance companies it is using have “failed to honor their promises,” which has delayed any settlement payments.

“This 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,” board chair Susanne Lyons said.

Armour and Schad explained the lawsuits filed by the survivors against USA Gymnastics and the USOPC were put on hold in December 2018 when USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy, but the organization must reach a settlement agreement or the lawsuits can resume.

As part of the lawsuit against the insurance carriers, the USOPC denied responsibility for Nassar and said it took out the insurance policies so it didn’t have to pay the claims to survivors and could continue funding other athletes.

Armour and Schad also noted on Aug. 24 the USOPC joined a joint motion filed on Aug. 20 by USA Gymnastics and the survivors that said the insurance carriers were stalling settlement negotiations “for their own economic benefit.” 

In 2018, Nassar, who was a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician, was sentenced to 40 and 175 years in prison.

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USOPC sues insurance carriers as Larry Nassar settlement talks stall

USOPC sues insurance carriers as Larry Nassar settlement talks stall

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The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is suing its insurance carriers in an effort to reach a settlement with Larry Nassar survivors, its chair said Friday.

Despite being in mediation for almost a year and a half, the USOPC and USA Gymnastics have been unable to come to an agreement with the survivors. USOPC board chair Susanne Lyons placed the blame on the organization’s insurance carriers, saying they have “not lived up to their contractual obligations.”

“This 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,” Lyons said.

“We feel additional work needs to be done to get to a place of settlement,” she added.

Attempts by USA TODAY Sports to obtain a copy of the lawsuit, filed in Colorado state court in Denver on Thursday, were not immediately successful. Colorado state court does not maintain online records for civil lawsuits, and a court spokesman did not return multiple messages Friday from USA TODAY Sports.  

Olympic champions Simone Biles and Aly Raisman are among more than 500 girls and young women who have sued USA Gymnastics and the USOPC, saying they were sexually abused by Nassar, their coach or someone else affiliated with the sport. The lawsuits were put on hold when USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in December 2018, and the federation must reach a settlement with survivors as part of its plan to emerge from the proceedings.

If it doesn’t, the bankruptcy case could be dismissed and the lawsuits would resume.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robyn Moberly ordered a settlement conference after USA Gymnastics and the survivors, later joined by the USOPC, filed a joint motion Aug. 20 accusing the insurance carriers of stalling negotiations “for their own

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