On March 6th, The Ohio State University announced that they have agreed upon an undisclosed monetary settlement with some of the survivors of the Dr. Richard Strauss sexual abuse scandal. Ohio Sates’s investigation determined that Strauss abused students for more than 20 years and the Administration failed to respond accordingly. 18 lawsuits were brought against OSU on behalf of over 300 survivors. Out if these 18 lawsuits, 11 of these represent the majority of individuals who have since settled their claims against the university.
After extensive negotiations, we were able to reach a settlement on behalf of our clients,” said attorney Richard Schulte, lead negotiator for plaintiffs. “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.”
The settlement funds will not consist of money from tax payers, tuition, or donors. All of the money will be drawn from the existing institutional discretionary funding at The Ohio State University. The funds will be distributed on individual levels depending on the harm and damages experienced. An independent Special Master trained in sexual abuse law will oversee the allocations.
OSU’s President Michael V. Drake said, “[w]hile 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.”