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USA Gymnastics sues insurance carriers amid Nassar lawsuits

The Indianapolis-based governing body for gymnastics filed its lawsuit against seven insurance companies Friday in Marion County. It accuses the companies of breach of contract and alleges that they haven’t provided a full defense or fully reimbursed USA Gymnastics for defense costs in 10 lawsuits filed by women who say Nassar sexually abused them, The Indianapolis Star reported.

The lawsuit seeks a judge’s order requiring the companies to defend and indemnify USA Gymnastics for those lawsuits under insurance policies that date back to 1993.

“While the insurers have paid some defense costs, the organization is bringing this action to maximize insurance proceeds available for settlement or resolution,” USA Gymnastics said in a news release.

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics, which is responsible for training Olympians, for 29 years. He also worked at Michigan State University, which is named in many of the women’s lawsuits.

Those complaints accuse USA Gymnastics of negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failing to warn, train or protect athletes from Nassar’s abuse.

USA Gymnastics has denied the allegations.

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography. He was sentenced this year to prison terms that will keep him locked up for life after roughly 200 women gave powerful statements against him in two courtrooms over 10 extraordinary days.

The seven insurance companies named in USA Gymnastics’ lawsuit are Ace American Insurance Co.; Great American Assurance Co.; Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc.; National Casualty Co.; RSUI Indemnity Co.; TIG Insurance Co. and Virginia Surety Co. Inc.

National Casualty said in a news release Wednesday that it “has been compliant with terms of the policy with USA Gymnastics,” but it declined to comment on the lawsuit’s specific allegations.

Ace American, Liberty, RSUI and TIG declined to comment to The Indianapolis Star. Great American and Virginia Surety didn’t immediately reply to messages seeking comment that were left Wednesday by The Associated Press.

USA Gymnastics is under mounting financial pressure following the Nassar scandal. It has a $15 million endowment, according to 2016 tax records, but major sponsors, including AT&T, Hershey, Kellogg’s and Proctor & Gamble, have cut ties with the group.

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