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Lawsuits over team doctor’s sexual abuse against Ohio State can proceed as Supreme Court denies review

by Michael Nguyen
3 comments
sexual abuse lawsuits

The Supreme Court declined to review a ruling by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, allowing more than 230 men to move forward with their lawsuits against Ohio State University regarding sexual abuse committed by the late Richard Strauss, a university doctor.

Among a list of cases that the court refused to hear, two cases involving the abuse were included. As is customary, the court did not provide any comment on its decision.

Ohio State University had requested the court to review the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, which reinstated the previously dismissed lawsuits. The plaintiffs, consisting of former student-athletes and alumni, claim to have suffered abuse at the hands of Strauss, who was employed by the university from 1978 to 1998.

Allegedly, the university failed to intervene despite receiving complaints dating back to the late 1970s. Many of the victims assert that the abuse occurred during mandatory physicals and medical exams conducted at various athletic facilities on campus, as well as at a student health center, Strauss’ residence, and an off-campus clinic.

Strauss died by suicide in 2005 at the age of 67. In 2018, Ohio State University initiated an investigation into his abuse and the university’s handling of the matter. The institution has since apologized to the victims and reached settlements exceeding $60 million with at least 296 individuals.

However, the university subsequently sought to dismiss the remaining unresolved cases, arguing that the claims had exceeded the statute of limitations.

The plaintiffs contended that their claims were timely filed, asserting that the statute of limitations began only when the 2018 investigation exposed Strauss’ misconduct. They claim this was the first time they became aware that the university had knowledge of Strauss’ abuse and failed to protect them. According to their attorneys, many victims were only made aware during this period that they had been subjected to abuse, as Strauss had disguised his actions as medical care.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s decision not to review the cases, stating, “We anticipate returning to the trial court, where our clients’ narratives will be heard, and further evidence of OSU’s extensive cover-up of Dr. Strauss’s repeated predatory behavior will be gathered.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about sexual abuse lawsuits

Q: What is the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the lawsuits against Ohio State University?

A: The Supreme Court’s decision allows over 230 men to proceed with their lawsuits against Ohio State University over sexual abuse by the late university doctor, Richard Strauss. It upholds the ruling by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and paves the way for justice in these landmark cases.

Q: What allegations are made against Richard Strauss and Ohio State University?

A: The plaintiffs, consisting of former student-athletes and alumni, allege that Richard Strauss, who worked at Ohio State University from 1978 to 1998, sexually abused them. They claim that university officials failed to take action despite receiving complaints as early as the late 1970s. The abuse allegedly occurred during required physicals and medical exams conducted at various campus athletic facilities, the student health center, Strauss’ home, and an off-campus clinic.

Q: What actions has Ohio State University taken in response to the allegations?

A: In 2018, Ohio State University launched an investigation into Richard Strauss’ abuse and the university’s conduct. The institution has apologized to the victims and reached settlements exceeding $60 million with at least 296 individuals. However, the university later sought to dismiss the remaining unresolved cases, arguing that the claims had exceeded the statute of limitations.

Q: What argument do the remaining plaintiffs make regarding the statute of limitations?

A: The remaining plaintiffs argue that their claims were timely filed. They assert that the statute of limitations should not have started until the 2018 investigation into Richard Strauss’ abuse made his misconduct public knowledge. They claim that it was only at that point that they became aware of the university’s awareness of the abuse and its failure to protect them. Many victims also state that they only realized they had been victims of abuse at that time, as Strauss disguised his actions as legitimate medical care.

Q: What is the next step for the lawsuits following the Supreme Court’s decision?

A: With the Supreme Court’s decision not to review the cases, the lawsuits will now proceed in the trial court. The plaintiffs’ lawyers express their intention to have their clients’ stories heard and gather further evidence of Ohio State University’s alleged cover-up of Richard Strauss’ repeated sexual predation.

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3 comments

grammarpolice June 27, 2023 - 8:57 am

Some small errors here and there, but overall, an informative piece. It’s important to get the facts right and give credit to the victims for their bravery in coming forward. #JusticeForAll

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buckeyepride June 27, 2023 - 6:04 pm

i’m an ohio state fan, but i’m not blind to the truth. the university needs to be held accountable for failing those students. it’s a shame it took so long for the truth to come out.

Reply
sportsfan23 June 27, 2023 - 7:22 pm

ohio state really messed up here. they should’ve done something about that creepy doctor way back then! now they gotta face the consequences. no excuses!

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