Litigation Efforts Approved by Judge Overseeing OSU Sexual Abuse Cases
The federal judge overseeing cases related to the alleged sexual assault of students at Ohio State University by late Dr. Richard Strauss can now move to litigation if plaintiffs are frustrated by the idea of mediation. About half of Strauss’s accusers have joined together to settle their cases.
In March, OSU said it had reached a financial agreement via mediation. The resolution would resolve 11 of the dozen and a half lawsuits filed against the school. The details of the settlement were not made public, as is usual in mediation, but the school did comment that is involved more than half of the 350 total plaintiffs.
According to the latest order from the judge, the remaining plaintiffs felt frustrated with the mediation process and asked that they are allowed to pursue litigation. The judge stated those who choose to pursue this avenue must file new complaints within 21 days of the order.
The settlement took place after the Perkins Coie law firm investigated the conduct of Dr. Strauss. The report from the firm was released in May and confirmed that Strauss had abused at least 177 male students during his nearly 20-year tenure with the school that ended in 1998. The report further stated that the school had not handled reports of the abuse properly. The majority of plaintiffs were affiliated with OSU athletics. Strauss was a team doctor with the school. Some additional students were abused at the school’s student health center by Strauss and several who were abused during “medical studies” conducted by Strauss.
Strauss killed himself in 2005.