University of Michigan to Pay $490 Million to Victims of Doctor’s Sexual Abuse
Dr. Robert Anderson worked at the University of Michigan from 1966 through 2003 and is believed to have sexually assaulted athletes during routine exams.
More than 1,000 former University of Michigan students who said they were sexually abused by the school’s sports doctor will be paid $490 million by the university.
The settlement between the school and the former students was confirmed by lawyers on Wednesday, reports NBC News.
University of Michigan officials believe that Dr. Robert Anderson, who worked at the school from 1966 through 2003, sexually assaulted athletes during routine physicals and injury exams. Most of his alleged victims were male, and the abuse described by most of them involved genital fondling and digital anal penetration. Anderson died in 2008.
Mediation of the case lasted 15 months, and 1,050 survivors will share $460 million of the settlement, reports Fox 19 Now. The remaining $30 million is being set aside for future accusers.
The alleged assaults came to light in 2018 when a former wrestler at the university sent a letter to the school’s athletic director detailing what happened to him.
Some campus officials knew about the abuse. In 1980, former UM Associate Vice President of Student Life Tom Easthope allowed Anderson to resign, but Easthope left the university before the resignation was carried out. Anderson then stayed on at the school for more than 20 years.
There were other allegations that former football coach Bo Schembechler and Athletic Director Don Canham also were aware of the abuse but didn’t do anything about it.
The University of Michigan settlement is one of the largest paid by a university for sexual abuse committed by its doctors.
Last year, the University of Southern California agreed to pay $852 million to 710 women who accused former student health center gynecologist George Tyndall of sexual abuse. In 2018, Michigan State University reached a settlement of $500 million with 332 women and girls who allege they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.