Plaintiffs continue to come out of the woodwork to join a lawsuit against former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University employee Larry Nassar. Four more Plaintiffs have requested to join the lawsuit that accuses Nassar of ongoing, systemic, sexual abuse over a period of decades. Plaintiff filed a request with the court to allow them to amend the complaint in order to add the new plaintiffs to the case.
Although Nassar headlines the lawsuit, there are many people and organizations on the defensive including Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and Twistars Gymnastics Club which produced 2012 Olympian Jordyn Wieber. Most of the plaintiffs identify themselves as Jane Doe. In addition to Nassar’s abuse, the lawsuit alleges that the other accused organizations failed to take steps to protect the abuse victims and failed to properly respond to allegations about the alleged abuse. The lawsuit calls MSU deliberately indifferent to the allegations against Nassar.
Nassar faces criminal charges in the State of Michigan addition to the civil suit against him. The criminal charges allege sexual abuse as well as possession of child pornography. A preliminary examination bound Nassar over to the Michigan Circuit Court for trial on the criminal allegations.
While Nassar defends the charges against him, witnesses are doing their best to run from participation in the case. One of those witnesses running is former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny. He got the court to postpone his deposition in the matter so that he could attend the Indianapolis 500 and network for job hunting purposes. Attorneys for the plaintiffs shot back that a party isn’t a good reason to skip a court-ordered deposition. Penny resigned as president of USA Gymnastics amid growing pressure from the gymnastics community and threats from the U.S. Olympic Committee to withdraw funding from the sport’s national governing body. Penny collected a golden parachute of approximately $1 million from USA Gymnastics.
Famed Olympic gymnastics coach Don Peters also wants the court to quash his subpoena for deposition in the case. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case hope that the deposition will provide insight on the matters relating to the allegations against the defendants as well as information about USA Gymnastics’ financial practices. Attorneys for Peters say that the deposition in the Nassar case is an abuse of discovery and an improper attempt to gain discovery for another case.