By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - USA Gymnastics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday amid continued legal action over former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse of hundreds of gymnasts.
The scandal has led to dozens of lawsuits being filed against the sport's governing authority seeking settlements, which prompted the embattled agency to seek protection from creditors in bankruptcy court in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The suits allege that USA Gymnastics failed to protect its athletes from Nassar, who has been sentenced to up to 300 years in prison for molesting over 350 girls and young women.
Kathryn Carson, the recently-elected chair of the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors, said in a statement that Wednesday's filing "and the expedited resolution of these claims are critical first steps in rebuilding the community’s trust".
“We owe it to the survivors to resolve, fully and finally, claims based on the horrific acts of the past and, through this process, seek to expedite resolution and help them move forward,” she added.
The survivors’ claims will be covered by insurance, and the Chapter 11 filing will not affect possible settlements, according to USA Gymnastics.
The filing also follows the U.S. Olympic Committee's notification in November to USA Gymnastics that it is seeking to strip the body of its role as the sport's governing body.
A hearing has yet to be scheduled on the matter, but the committee has reportedly vowed to continue with its action.