Michigan State attorneys push for dismissal of lawsuits from Larry Nassar scandal

MSU officials say recent wave of lawsuits should be thrown out

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University's attorneys are changing their conciliatory tone in light of the Larry Nassar scandal.

The attorneys told a federal judge the most recent lawsuits filed against the university should be thrown out. Some involved in the Nassar case called the attorneys' tone aggressive.

Former governor and MSU President John Engler weathered a storm of protests after his tough stance.

In February, as more and more Nassar victims surfaced and gave their emotional testimony about the horrors he committed, then-acting university President Satish Udpa fell on his sword.

"I realize the need to formally apologize and effectively atone to each of you in the survivor community," Udpa said. "I am truly sorry you were subjected to the pain and humiliation of sexual assault."

Six months later, the university's tone flipped again.

"Nassar committed horrible crimes. As a matter of law, however, the MSU defendants are not liable for his crimes. Plaintiffs' complaints must be dismissed," MSU lawyers said in a 900-page legal filing. "Those plaintiffs with standing fail to plead viable Title IX claims because they do not allege that Nassar's misconduct was reported to an 'appropriate person' under the law or that MSU otherwise acted with 'deliberate indifference' to alleged reports of sexual assault."

The words didn't sit well with MSU students who were enrolled last year during the Nassar scandal.

"I think they're just trying to pass the buck and they should take responsibility and be accountable for it," one student said.

"The whole climate on campus is we're trying to get better," another student said. "We're trying to change, and they're owning up to what they did -- it does surprise me they are saying they're not liable. It doesn't make any sense."

"I think it's really good we're apologizing to victims, but no, I don't think they should drop the cases," another student said.

There are 102 civil suits against the university in the second wave of cases. The first set paid $425 million. There's $75 million left.

University officials told Local 4 they've settled with 80 of the victims in the second wave. They said a judge forced MSU to defend itself, so that's what they did.

Michigan State officials are hoping to settle all the cases.

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