Lawyers for survivors of decades-old sexual abuse by an Ohio State University team doctor have objected to the university’s request that an updated lawsuit against it be dismissed based on the statute of limitations.
The attorneys said in a Wednesday court filing that survivors are only now coming to understand the abuse they suffered from the late Dr. Richard Strauss between 20 and 40 years ago. They argue the statute of limitations only runs from the time that abuse is recognized, which for many was in 2018 when the news of Strauss’ actions emerged.
Strauss retired in 1998 and died in 2005. No one has publicly defended him since former athletes and other alumni began sharing their allegations two years ago.
More than 350 men alleging misconduct by Strauss have sued Ohio State. Many say they were fondled in exams on campus, at his off-campus clinic or at his home. They contend concerns about Strauss were raised with university employees as far back as the late 1970s.
Ohio State asked a federal judge last month to dismiss the newest version of a victims’ lawsuit on the grounds the claims are too old to bring under the law.
Ohio State officials have acknowledged the school’s failure to stop Strauss, publicly apologized to anyone harmed by him, and agreed to pay about $41 million to settle claims by 162 of the men.
The university remains open to settlements with the remaining victims, OSU lawyers said in a July 7 filing.