>> And to every predator, to every little girl or young woman who is watching, how much a little girl is worth.>> Legal experts say the emotionally charged trial of former USA gymnatics doctor, Larry Nassar, could be just a preview of the legal battles that lie ahead for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.
>> I've just signed your death warrant.>> 54 year old Nassar, who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing young female gymnasts, served as the team doctor through four Olympic games and had worked at Michigan State since the 90s. Lawsuits against both organizations were filed in January 2017 by 140 of Nassar's victims, and have since been consolidated under a single case.
>> And the judge then ordered all the parties to sit down together and work out a potential settlement solution, but those negotiations broke down in December. And plaintiffs' lawyers now said they are preparing to go to trial. What legal experts say however is that the sentencing hearing of Nassar over these past weeks had such a great emotional toll that it's practically a PR nightmare for the University and USA Gymnastics to pursue these legal claims.
>> Even though legal experts say the university and USA Gymnastics have pretty solid arguments to get out of the lawsuits.>> They say that most of these claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Many of these women were abused in the 90s. Michigan has a statute of three years if you want to bring claims over personal injury against the university.
The university says it's protected by sovereign immunity as a state institution. And as such it says it cannot be held liable for the actions Nassar committed because it was outside the scope of his official employment.>> But the women say the organizations cannot hide behind immunity claims as they get ready for another fight.