Ohio State Paying Out $5.8 Million To 23 More Richard Strauss Accusers
The Ohio State University has reached $5.8 million in settlements with 23 more men who say they were sexually abused by former team doctor Richard Strauss.
Hundreds of men say Strauss touched them inappropriately or assaulted them over the course of the doctor's decades-long career at the university. An independent investigation found that Ohio State officials knew about Strauss' misconduct as early as 1979, but failed to properly respond until 1996, and accusers say administrators willfully acted to hide the abuse.
The latest settlement closes cases with 23 survivors in five lawsuits, bringing the total number of settled claims to 185. Settlements vary between claimants, the university says, but average slightly more than $250,000.
The school says the settlement funds were allocated based on the "harm and damages experienced by each survivor," and are overseen by an independent reviewer experienced with sexual trauma claim evaluation.
“The university has condemned Strauss’ reprehensible conduct and expressed its appreciation to survivors for coming forward,” said Ohio State president Kristina M. Johnson in a statement. “Our work toward restorative justice continues.”
In May, the university announced it would pay about $41 million to 162 plaintiffs, which represented about half of the accusers suing the school.
“Our ongoing negotiations with Ohio State have resulted in a fair settlement process that acknowledges the harm inflicted on individual survivors and provides a pathway to healing,” Rick Schulte, lead negotiator for the plaintiffs in both settlements, said in a statement. “Once again, Ohio State has stepped forward and done the right thing.”
There are still four outstanding lawsuits against the university. Ohio State says it continues to participate in the mediation process and is "committed to a resolution with plaintiffs, including a monetary resolution."
Strauss died in 2005.