IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys for 15 alleged victims of former Michigan State University physician, Dr. Larry Nassar, announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of a 16th alleged victim, MSU softball scholarship athlete Tiffany Michelle Thomas (Lopez). Ms. Lopez is a resident of Southern California and the suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The lawsuit alleges that Tiffany was recruited by MSU to play softball on a full athletic scholarship in 1997. She was referred to Dr. Nassar by the University in 1998 for treatment of chronic lower back pain which resulted from her softball training.
During the course of Nassar's treatments, Nassar allegedly inserted "his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand into her vagina." When Tiffany reported Nassar's disturbing "treatments" to the MSU training staff she was allegedly told that Nassar was a world renowned doctor and that his "inter-vaginal adjustments" were legitimate medical treatments.
"Tiffany's complaint directly contradicts statements by Michigan State University that they fired Dr. Nassar in 2015 immediately upon hearing student concerns about his abusive and harassing conduct. Tiffany reported Nassar's sexual assaults to no less than three Michigan State University trainers as early as 2000. Her complaints were ignored, she was shamed and Dr. Nassar allegedly continued to molest girls and women for another 15 years at MSU and as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics," said victim's attorney John Manly, a partner in Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
Tiffany Thomas was an all-American high school softball player who was aggressively recruited by MSU. She was a member of the USA Junior Olympic Team that won a silver medal at the Junior Women's World Championship in 1999. She was a star player at and letter winner at MSU playing 106 games during her career with a batting average consistently above .250.
According to the complaint when back injuries threatened to sideline Tiffany she was sent to Dr. Nassar for treatment and he sexually abused her.
The lawsuit alleges that Tiffany reported Dr. Nassar's conduct to multiple trainers and was told to report it to the athletic training supervisor. The supervisor dismissed her complaint and indicated Dr. Nassar did this to many female athletes from a variety of sports and told Tiffany she was fortunate to receive the best medical care possible from a world renowned doctor.
"The abuse I suffered at the hands of Dr. Nassar created a cloud over my life that I fear will never leave. I feel guilty, not because I did anything wrong, but because I was not able to come forward sooner and perhaps protect other young girls from Dr. Nassar," said Tiffany Thomas (Lopez).
15 alleged victims of Nassar's alleged sexual assault, battery and molestation have filed a Notice of Intent to file claims against Michigan State University. Tiffany Thomas (Lopez) is the first former MSU student to file suit against Nassar and the University.
Two women have filed lawsuits against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. One is a former Olympic medalist who says alleges that was molested for several years in the mid 90s, starting when she was 13. The other was a member of the USA National Team, who alleges that famed coaches Béla and Márta Károlyi turned a blind eye to abuse by Nassar at their training center in Texas.
In November, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Nassar with three counts of first degree criminal sexual assault with a person under 13. The charges allege that Nassar repeatedly assaulted a girl between 1998 and 2005, beginning when she was six years old. This week, Nassar was arrested on Federal child pornography charges. The two count indictment states that Nassar possessed "thousands of images of child pornography."
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is California's leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the United States.
Drew, Cooper & Anding is a Grand Rapids Michigan based law firm specializing in personal injury, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, consumer protection, and complex commercial litigation.
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SOURCE Manly, Stewart & Finaldi