COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Two days after the Ohio State University announced its plan for an individual settlement program for sex abuse victims of a former team doctor, attorneys for those victims accuse the university of bargaining in bad faith and violating court rules.
Hundreds of claimed victims of former OSU Dr. Richard Strauss have been in mediated talks with the university for more than two years.
Earlier this week, OSU told the federal court it would create a program to bargain with the Strauss survivors “individually.”
OSU claimed it is continuing to try to restore its bond with the former students, but in the new court filing, the victims’ attorneys say that is a lie.
The university’s own investigators concluded Dr. Richard Strauss spent two decades sexually abusing hundreds of men — under the guise of invasive physical exams, which included victims being drugged and raped.
Many of them shared their heart-breaking stories with us – and their anger with university.
In its new court notice, OSU said it settled with 185 victims, and plans to settle for up to $252,000 with the remaining plaintiffs in five separate lawsuits.
But victims said they believe the move is a PR stunt, and their attorneys tell the court the plan is “self-serving” and violates rules for confidential mediation:
“Yet again, OSU has violated this court’s rules by discussing purported settlement offers on the public docket.”
Mediation has been underway for more than two years, but plaintiffs allege:
“Contrary to OSU’s claims, OSU has not tried to reconcile or restore the bond with its former students. Rather, OSU used the multi-year mediation process to delay resolution, alienate the former students, and refuse to fairly compensate survivors.”
The Strauss survivors said there has been no progress – that the mediation is at an impasse, and the only way forward to hold OSU accountable to the nearly 300 Strauss victims who still have claims pending is for the court to allow the litigation to go forward.
Although mediation has been underway for two years, the university is also asking the court to dismiss claims from all of the remaining victims, alleging the claims fall outside the statute of limitations. Essentially arguing that the victims waited too long to come forward.
A ruling is expected soon on that motion.