US Figure Skating pays $1.45 million to settle sexual abuse claims by former skater | Golden Skate

US Figure Skating pays $1.45 million to settle sexual abuse claims by former skater

brightphoton

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Jan 23, 2009
The settlement included no admission of wrongdoing by the federation.

U.S. Figure Skating has agreed to pay a former competitive skater $1.45 million to settle his lawsuit accusing the national governing body of being negligent in its duty to protect young athletes from sexual abuse by an allegedly predatory coach.

Adam Schmidt alleged that he suffered “numerous sexual assaults” by Richard Callaghan while training in his stable of skaters as a teenager in the years after the federation dismissed prior allegations of sexual abuse against the famed coach.

SeeAccording to the terms of settlement agreement, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News, U.S. Figure Skating and its insurer agreed to the million-dollar-plus payment but “enter[ed] into this Agreement making no admissions of fault, liability, wrongdoing or misconduct of any kind, and no admissions as to the validity of any the claims or defenses in the Action.”

But, Schmidt said, the payout sends a clear message. “I think the settlement speaks for itself,” Schmidt told ABC News. “People don’t settle things for millions of dollars for nothing.”

 

CoyoteChris

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Dec 4, 2004
Sad. No winners here.....
I wonder what effect this will have on pending cases?

paranthetically, the statement “People don’t settle things for millions of dollars for nothing.” is just not true. I listen to stories from Aviation/Power company/ civil engineering lawyers . Sometimes insurance companies and other firms just settle for $1 million instead of going to court where there are those pesky jurys on a $10 million dollar-100 million dollar case. BAck room dealing is always cheeper than going to court anyway.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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The question is whether or not this settlement will spur U.S. figure skating to finally take some leadership and responsibility that they could have taken in the 1990s of facing difficult issues and allegations. They could have made much more of an effort toward more openness and transparency in working collaboratively to establish better guidelines and policies at rinks. As well, a variety of awareness workshops and human relations training programs would be helpful. The tendency has been to turn the other way and sweep problems under the rug, which honestly allowed further abuses to happen (including the allegations in this case).
 
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Mathman

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Jun 21, 2003
The total annual budget for USFS is about 18 million dollars. This is a sizeable chunk of money for them.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I would suggest U.S. fed (ISU and all feds) get some outside help in a number of endeavors which might have the added benefit of getting rid of antiquated thinking and a timid 'hear no evil, see no evil' approach to tackling important issues. The fact remains that abuse allegations began to surface in the 1990s and a strong leadership response might have prevented or headed off a slew of additional abuse allegations (including this one), convictions and victimizations over the years since then, not to mention loss of life, and loads of grief and pain.

Where does leadership responsibility begin and end is something to contemplate. As well as personal responsibility and meaningful reflection for every one of us during these difficult and trying times we are living in.
 

Skater Boy

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Well there may be lots of reason to settle. A long drawn out trial could just put this higher in the public mind and even if they "won" they lose as the damage is done - sometimes just the charge is enough to cause enough damage even without theconviction. For example the damage is done to Morgan Cipres even if he is cleared. And there may be insurance issues ie the insurnce company says it will pay if they settlefor x and sx amount. Also the price of litigation good orbadcomes into play.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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But, clearing the rinks, and all sports, of predators should be the main goal.
That's loaded, because how does this happen? It's not like bringing in an exterminator to de-louse the rink environments. In other words, how can it happen when the federations (U.S. fed in particular) seem to think other groups are supposed to take care of abuse issues? As I said, it has to begin with accepting that problems exist and having enough courage and leadership to try and tackle difficult issues head-on and with transparency. I mentioned in earlier posts, some of the concrete steps that could have been taken decades ago.
 

CoyoteChris

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Joined
Dec 4, 2004
This makes me second guess myself for donating.
Me too. Even though they have insurance, lets see what happens going forward. Its sad that those poor kids have to have a voice recorder going all the time in a loop now to catch "coach A and Coach B" saying to not make a big deal out of this and forget it. But if such proof is presented to the USFS, Coach A and B need to be black balled, thrown out, and charged and sued.
 

CoyoteChris

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Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Well there may be lots of reason to settle. A long drawn out trial could just put this higher in the public mind and even if they "won" they lose as the damage is done - sometimes just the charge is enough to cause enough damage even without theconviction. For example the damage is done to Morgan Cipres even if he is cleared. And there may be insurance issues ie the insurnce company says it will pay if they settlefor x and sx amount. Also the price of litigation good orbadcomes into play.
Exactly what happens according to my lawyer friends. I have stories that make me cringe....
 

CoyoteChris

Record Breaker
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Dec 4, 2004
I would suggest U.S. fed (ISU and all feds) get some outside help in a number of endeavors which might have the added benefit of getting rid of antiquated thinking and a timid 'hear no evil, see no evil' approach to tackling important issues. The fact remains that abuse allegations began to surface in the 1990s and a strong leadership response might have prevented or headed off a slew of additional abuse allegations (including this one), convictions and victimizations over the years since then, not to mention loss of life, and loads of grief and pain.

Where does leadership responsibility begin and end is something to contemplate. As well as personal responsibility and meaningful reflection for every one of us during these difficult and trying times we are living in.
Evidently many entities in all forms didnt see the handwriting on the wall and are now paying the price. I will not get political as we dont do that here and mention them. But I will tell you this. In the State Patrol in the 1990s, we were given training from outside sourses on racism and sexual harrassment. After this, If a supervisor was told of an incident or witnessed it, they HAD to write it up....or face "failure to manage" charges.
 

Skater Boy

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Feb 24, 2012
Exactly what happens according to my lawyer friends. I have stories that make me cringe....
I have the same information. Which is why sometimes insurance companies on car accidents especially minor ones will give what seem to be high payouts - they want to avoid litigation. It is drawn out to get to trial and the cost of trials and experts versus paying someone $5000 for a very minor accident is far cheaper.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Yes. And part of that is not defending sexual abusers just because you liked their skating.
And part of that is not blatantly accusing others of 'defending sexual abusers,' just because there are skaters you may never have liked, and thus never had any emotional investment in their skating.

There are many different kinds of abuse, btw, including online abuse and targeting of fellow posters whom you may often vehemently disagree with or oppose. Charity, grace, forgiveness, personal responsibility and owning up to one's own personal failings begins at home. There is nothing to be gained by online finger-pointing, political correctness and bandwagoning around grave and urgent issues of victimization and abuse in figure skating and in our larger culture.
 

karne

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And part of that is not blatantly accusing others of 'defending sexual abusers,' just because there are skaters you may never have liked, and thus never had any emotional investment in their skating
Sometimes posters leave you no choice, when they start making up garbage about "disappointment over a result" as justification for the abuser.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Sometimes posters leave you no choice, when they start making up garbage about "disappointment over a result" as justification for the abuser.
You are obviously in the wrong thread making uncalled for claims with unnecessary targeting. And btw, there's always a choice. This thread is about the specific case which U.S. fed recently settled, and about the general issue of abuse cases in figure skating that have impacted the sport as a whole due to a lack of leadership, courage and transparency.
 
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