COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Some survivors of abuse at the hands of a former Ohio State University doctor are on their way to ending their lawsuits against the school.
The university announced Friday that settlements in almost a dozen lawsuits have been reached regarding the part the school played in accusations of sexual assault made against former Dr. Richard Strauss.
According to an insider, the deals have yet to get final approval.
On Friday, OSU announced settlements in 11 of the 18 lawsuits. According to the university, that represents almost half of the roughly 350 survivors suing the school.
However, one survivor who is not part of Friday’s announced settlements said for many like him, mediation talks have gone nowhere.
About two years after starting an investigation into Strauss’ sexual abuse against mostly athletes at the university, OSU announces settlements.
The school’s been accused of covering up Strauss’ actions.
Strauss died of suicide in 2005. He was a team doctor, and the investigation found he abused 177 students, mostly athletes. More accusers have come forward since.
The investigation found the school did not do enough to stop his abuse, and hundreds of survivors are now suing the university.
“We want the truth and we want justice,” said Brian Garrett. “And the way to get that is to take this to court, put everybody on the stand, let the truth come out so the public can hear it.”
Garrett is one of the survivors. He’s not part of the group that settled, but he is part of a group that last week accused OSU of not mediating in good faith and asked a judge to bring it back to court.
“The rest of us guys that didn’t settle today, we are in it to the end,” Garrett said. “We want this to go to trial. We want this to go to court”
Friday, OSU announced settlements in 11 of 18 lawsuits but did not say how much the settlements are for.
Garrett’s reaction when he heard about the settlements?
“It was actually a feeling of disgust because the majority of the guys that are in the Perkins Cole Report aren’t in the settlement,” he said.
In a written statement, OSU President Michael Drake said:
“Strauss’ conduct was reprehensible, and the university failures at the time are completely unacceptable. 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.”
Other attorneys representing more accusers who have not reached settlements are criticizing the announced settlements, saying:
“Today, they released a secretly negotiated settlement, reached without giving every survivor a seat at the table. It is hard to imagine how any settlement negotiated this way could include sufficient compensation for all those who were abused by Dr. Strauss on OSU’s watch.”Adele Kimmel, abuse survivors’ attorney
OSU has previously said it was negotiating in good faith and said this in today’s release about who it has settled with:
“The parties participated in a confidential mediation overseen by the federal court and will be completing the final procedural steps in the process in the coming weeks.”
It also said OSU is still participating in the mediation process with the survivors involved in the seven remaining lawsuits.