Erica Kinsman settled her lawsuit against Florida State University

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: February 1, 2016

Erica Kinsman settled her lawsuit against Florida State University

As published by the Hunting Ground Crew:

“Yesterday, Erica Kinsman settled her lawsuit against Florida State University for $950,000 and a five-year commitment to programs that promote sexual assault awareness, transparency and prevention. FSU must report on these efforts every year for the next five years.

It’s the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history. Erica’s allegation of sexual assault by Jameis Winston is one of the centerpieces of our film and one of the reasons powerful interests like Florida State University have been trying to silence and discredit us.

This settlement is a win for survivors everywhere. Through her bravery, resilience and integrity, Erica was able to transcend her traumatic experience, stand up to FSU’s institutional betrayal and show other sexual assault survivors they no longer have to remain silent.

As the filmmakers of The Hunting Ground, we are proud to have shared Erica’s moving and courageous story, which has helped raise awareness of sexual assault on college campuses across the country. It is our hope that FSU and other schools learn from this ordeal so that other student survivors are not put through the anguish that Erica has endured.

But this is just one case of many. As a community of survivors and advocates, we must continue to bring sexual assault out of the shadows, hold accountable those responsible and end the epidemic of sexual assault on campuses across the country.

Today and everyday, Erica and other survivors deserve our support and our care.

Erica’s powerful story was seen by millions online when we posted it earlier this year and it continues to inspire supporters who #StandWithErica”

Kinsman stated that she would “always be disappointed that I had to leave the school I dreamed of attending since I was little,” but is grateful that FSU has committed to continue making changes in order to ensure a safer environment for all students.

FSU did not admit to liability in the settlement, which university president John Thrasher said the school agreed to in order to avoid additional litigation expenses.

“We have an obligation to our students, their parents and Florida taxpayers to deal with this case, as we do all litigation, in a financially responsible manner,” Thrasher said in a statement. “With all the economic demands we face, at some point it doesn’t make sense to continue even though we are convinced we would have prevailed.”

The settlement does not affect an ongoing Title IX investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Kinsman filed a complaint with the agency in early 2014 and it opened an investigation in April of that year.

READ: FSU settlement agreement

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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