USA Gymnastics Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Amid Sex Abuse Scandals
The heinous crimes of former USA Gymnastics trainer Larry Nassar continue to devastate the organization and the families and victims involved after the national governing body for gymnastics filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday.
Civil lawsuits related to the sexual abuse case of Nassar have constricted USA Gymnastics. Filing for bankruptcy will help to expedite the process of handling these lawsuits, according to USAG. The bankruptcy, according to USAG, is not in relation to the available money for the victims, which they said is provided by insurance money. The organization is adamant in assuring that there are no intentions to liquidate, but rather to “reorganize” amid the fallout of the abuse. USAG is facing roughly 100 lawsuits from some 350 athletes concerning the abuse and USAG’s handling of it.
The bankruptcy process will effectively halt all pending litigation against USAG, allowing for a period of recollection that will allow athletes to more thoroughly communicate with the organization ahead of any legal processions. Several of the cases cite USAG as irresponsible in its efforts to address and report the abuse. Building a foundation of trust between USAG and its athletes is the primary objective following the filing, along with a revamping of the organization’s public image.
Several former USAG athletes have been critical of the organization’s handling of the abuse, and see no promise in the potential ability to right the ship. Former team USA gymnast and board member Jessica Howard, one of the first victims to speak out about the abuse, says that she doesn’t see how anybody can trust USAG to run the sport of gymnastics. “USA Gymnastics has made absolutely no changes that have affected victims, survivors,” Howard said. “I don’t think the sport will survive at the highest levels if we don’t get this right.”
Attorney John Manly, who represents almost 200 of Nassar’s victims, has called the bankruptcy a “delay tactic” for the organization, which has botched the recovery process and saw two presidents resign consequentially. USAG is currently in search for a new CEO.