Ohio State Finalizes $40.9M Settlement with 162 Survivors in Strauss Case
The Ohio State University has announced details of a $40.9 million settlement reached with 162 survivors in 12 lawsuits related to sexual abuse by university physician Richard Strauss from 1978 to 1998.
An independent investigation by the university determined last year that Strauss, who died in 2005, abused students during his time at Ohio State and the university administration failed to appropriately respond at the time.
In March, Ohio State announced a monetary settlement with nearly half of the individuals who brought claims against the university related to Strauss. All have now signed on to the terms of the settlement.
For the remaining lawsuits, Ohio State says it “remains committed to a resolution with plaintiffs, including a monetary resolution.”
“The university of decades ago failed these individuals – our students, alumni and members of the Buckeye community,” said Ohio State President Michael Drake in a statement. “Nothing can undo the wrongs of the past, but we must do what we can today to work toward restorative justice.”
Settlements from the “Qualified Settlement Fund” received by survivors will vary by individual, based on the harm and damages experienced by each survivor. A special master, independent of the university and experienced in the area of sexual trauma claim evaluation, will oversee the settlement process.
No taxpayer, tuition or restricted donor funds will be utilized.
The Strauss matter was brought to light after a survivor came forward in April 2018, and the university launched and announced publicly an independent investigation of Strauss’ abuse. The university released a 180-page report in May 2019 that detailed acts of sexual abuse against at least 177 former students, and the failed response of university personnel.
Under the settlement agreement, all participating plaintiffs will dismiss their claims against the university.
For more information, visit compliance.osu.edu/strauss-investigation.html.