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USA Gymnastics sues insurance carriers amid Nassar lawsuits

April 11, 2018

Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics is suing its insurance carriers, alleging that they haven't fully reimbursed it for defense costs incurred in lawsuits filed by victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The governing body for gymnastics sued seven insurance companies Friday in Marion County.

USA Gymnastics accuses the insurers of breach of contract and alleges they haven't provided a full defense or fully reimbursed it for defense costs in 10 lawsuits filed by women who say Nassar abused them, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics for 29 years and also worked at Michigan State University, which is named in many of the lawsuits.

The women's lawsuits accuse USA Gymnastics of failing to protect athletes from Nassar's abuse.

USA Gymnastics has denied those and other allegations.

Nassar, 54, has been sentenced in three different courtrooms for crimes ranging from child pornography to molesting children. He is almost certain to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The lawsuit seeks a judge's order requiring the companies to defend and indemnify USA Gymnastics for those lawsuits under insurance policies that date back to 1993.

"While the insurers have paid some defense costs, the organization is bringing this action to maximize insurance proceeds available for settlement or resolution," USA Gymnastics said in a news release.

The complaints accuse USA Gymnastics of negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failing to warn, train or protect athletes from Nassar's abuse.

The seven insurance companies named in USA Gymnastics' lawsuit are Ace American Insurance Co.; Great American Assurance Co.; Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc.; National Casualty Co.; RSUI Indemnity Co.; TIG Insurance Co. and Virginia Surety Co. Inc.

National Casualty said in a news release Wednesday that it "has been compliant with terms of the policy with USA Gymnastics," but it declined to comment on the lawsuit's specific allegations.

Ace American, Liberty, RSUI and TIG declined to comment to The Indianapolis Star. Great American and Virginia Surety didn't immediately reply to messages seeking comment that were left Wednesday by The Associated Press.

USA Gymnastics is under mounting financial pressure following the Nassar scandal. It has a $15 million endowment, according to 2016 tax records, but major sponsors, including AT&T, Hershey, Kellogg's and Proctor & Gamble, have cut ties with the group.

 

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