The lawsuit was announced as a series of tort claims against the Justice Department and the FBI over its agents’ lack of response to the allegations of Nassar sexually assaulting minors.
“The FBI knew that Larry Nassar was a danger to children when his abuse of me was first reported in September of 2015,” said gymnast Maggie Nichols, a Team USA member, in a statement. “For 421 days, they worked with USA Gymnastics and USOPC to hide this information from the public and allowed Nassar to continue molesting young women and girls. It is time for the FBI to be held accountable.”
The 90 claimants in the series of tort claims include Nichols, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney. While the amounts will differ from claimant to claimant, the total is expected to be more than $1 billion, according to the firms representing the victims.
The DOJ announced on May 26 that it was adhering to its prior decision not to bring federal criminal charges in the Nassar investigation. A July 2021 investigation found that the FBI repeatedly ignored the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar and did not take the proper steps to inform local authorities. The investigation also found that the agents broke FBI rules, covered up missteps, and lied to investigators.
When asked for comment, an FBI spokeswoman said the agency had no comment and referred the Washington Examiner to September 2021 remarks from FBI Director Christopher Wray saying he was “deeply and profoundly sorry” to “the brave women” who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that morning.
Nassar’s victims reached a $380 million settlement with USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee in December 2021, thus closing out one chapter to the victims’ restitution.
The story began when Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics and the USOPC over Nassar’s abuse in 2016.
Dantzscher’s lawsuit opened the floodgate for testimonies confirming Nassar’s abuse over several years. Several top officials at USA Gymnastics and the USOPC resigned from their roles, including the entire board at USA Gymnastics.
Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually penetrating several young women while performing medical procedures.