Gymnast Simon Biles leads million-dollar lawsuit against FBI
Gymnasts abused by Larry Nassar seek $1 billion from FBI for failing to protect them, sue for negligence
June 8, 2022 3:12pm
Updated: June 8, 2022 5:26pm
More than 90 victims of abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar at the USA Gymnastics Federation have broken new ground in their quest for justice that could be a turning point for the country's justice system. Each of them has sued the FBI for an individual amount of $50 million for a total of $1 billion.
The law firm that has taken on the representation of Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and other Olympic and world champions has decided to target greater forces than the Federation, with whom they had already reached an agreement. Now they plan to ask for explanations from the federal authorities for what they consider to be a dereliction of their duty to protect.
The U.S. Department of Justice, under which the FBI falls, will have to respond under the Federal Tort Claims Act, whereby they will either have six months to settle with the whistleblowers or they will take the lawsuit to federal court. Right now, the plaintiffs are in the first step and argue that each claim is sufficient to compensate for the damage suffered.
Larry Nassar: la demanda de US$1.000 millones de Simon Biles y otras decenas de gimnastas contra el FBI por el caso de abusos sexuales en el equipo olímpico https://t.co/H79H9mYvyi— BBC News Mundo (@bbcmundo) June 8, 2022
The victims claim that as early as July 2015, the FBI had in its possession evidence and testimony from victims credible enough to take action, but they were not interviewed nor investigated for the abuse they had suffered.
"FBI officials, who possessed this knowledge and were in a position to stop Nassar's predation, were grossly negligent in their duties, resulting in Nassar sexually assaulting approximately 100 young women and children between July 28, 2015, and September 12, 2016, and conspired with the highest-ranking official within the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics to conceal this known sexual abuse from foreseeable victims," they allege in the complaint.
"The FBI grossly neglected its duties by refusing to interview gymnasts who were willing to talk about the abuse, by failing to transfer the complaint to Lansing, Michigan, where Nassar continued to abuse the girls, by ignoring its obligation to report child abuse to state and federal agencies, and by lying to Congress, the media and at FBI headquarters about its lack of diligence in investigating the Nassar complaint," the complaint continues.
Larry Nassar is serving 60 years in federal prison over child pornography charges, plus a sentence of 40 to 175 years on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.