Nassar lawsuits: Mediation phase could get extended

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WLNS) – Attorneys on both sides of a civil lawsuit involving sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar, are asking a judge to extend the mediation phase.
The request, filed Tuesday, comes in the form of a stipulation to extend the mediation another 30 days to December 6th.
Attorneys who represent more than 100 women and girls, along with the defendants, are included in the filing except for USA Gymnastics.
“Plaintiffs and the MSU Defendants have sought the concurrence of defendant USA Gymnastics for this stipulation, and it has not yet provided its position,” it says.
In August, the same attorneys entered into a 90-day mediation phase in an effort to reach a settlement.
John Muth, the mediator for the lawsuits, filed the order.
“Although the parties still have significant work to do if they are to reach a consensual resolution of these matters, substantial progress was made during the mediation,” he wrote.
Muth goes on to say that he recommends extra time be given.
“In my view, the parties would benefit from an additional 30-day stay of litigation so that they can focus their efforts on continued mediation discussions,” Muth said.
To date, more than 130 women and girls have filed lawsuits claiming Nassar used his hands inappropriately during what they thought, was medical treatment.
The former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor faces more than 20 first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges in Ingham and Eaton County.
While he has maintained his innocence in the state cases against him, Nassar pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in federal court.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in the federal case the first week of December.
 That same week, his trial in Ingham County is expected to start.