Ohio State announces settlement of 11 lawsuits from Strauss survivors

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) —Ohio State announced Friday that it has settled 11 of 18 lawsuits with survivors of former team physician Dr. Richard Strauss.

According to the university, it has reached a monetary settlement in those cases. No details about the amount of money to be paid was released.

An independent investigation launched by the university determined Strauss abused students for more than 20 years.

The lawsuits settled Friday represent nearly half of the roughly 350 accusers who filed claims against the university.

It comes weeks after lawyers said the university “refused to engage in productive settlement talks” and hasn’t participated in good faith. It wasn’t immediately clear whether those lawyers were involved in Friday’s settlement.

Former team physician Strauss is accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students, mostly athletes, over a 20 year period.

“Strauss’ conduct was reprehensible, and the university’s failures at the time are completely unacceptable,” said President Michael V. Drake in a press release. “While nothing can undo what happened here years ago, today’s university has a responsibility to support our former students and alumni, and this initial settlement is another important step in the process of restorative justice.

An independent investigation found Ohio State University did not do enough to stop the abuse. The investigation, launched by OSU, did not start until 2018 when an abuse survivor came forward.

Strauss died in 2005.

The university said the funds from the settlement will be allocated based on the harm and damages experienced by each survivor. An expert outside the university will be handling that determination.

“After extensive negotiations, we were able to reach a settlement on behalf of our clients,” said attorney Rick Schulte, lead negotiator for the plaintiffs’ firms. “The bravery of our clients is humbling. We are pleased that Ohio State stepped forward and did the right thing. This settlement will help our clients move forward with the healing process.”

There are still seven lawsuits that have not been settled. The University said it’s committed to settling those as soon as possible.

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