The University of Michigan will pay $490 million to settle allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Michigan said Wednesday that it would pay $490 million to more than a thousand people who said a doctor who worked with football players and other students had sexually abused them.
The deal, which is one of the largest settlements for sexual abuse in the United States, was worked out in private talks this week, more than three years after a former student wrote to Michigan’s athletic director and said that he had been abused in the 1970s.
Eventually, many other former students said that Robert E. Anderson had sexually assaulted them during physical examinations, many of which were required for Michigan students to participate in athletic programs. This person was one of many. Investigators said that in some cases, Anderson performed tests that were unnecessary or improper. For example, he insisted on a pelvic exam for a woman who said she had a sore throat.
In the past, Robert E. Anderson, who died in 2008, had “sexual misconduct with patients on a number of occasions.” A law firm hired by the University of Michigan found this out last year.
At the end of June, one of Bo Schembechler’s sons said that he, too, was one of Anderson’s victims. He died in 2006 and is still revered on the Ann Arbor campus.
A lawyer for many of Anderson’s victims said in a statement that Michigan has agreed to pay money and take other steps to make up for what Anderson did to so many young people that could have been avoided. Jamie White, the lawyer for many of Anderson’s victims, said in the statement. It should be praised, not slammed, says the person.
“Most of our clients had a strong love for the university and didn’t want to see any long-term damage, but they wanted to know who was to blame.”
Michigan will be looking into whether Anderson abused students in February 2020. People who think they were abused by Anderson should come forward then. After a former student sent a letter to Michigan’s athletic director, accusing Anderson of wrongdoing, the authorities had been looking into the case for more than a year in a secret way.
Over the course of two weeks, Michigan asked for information, which led to more than 100 stories. At a university meeting last May, a law firm hired by the University of Michigan said that Anderson, who died in 2008 and was never prosecuted for any abuse, had “sexual misconduct with patients on many occasions.”
At least some people at the university knew about Anderson’s problems as his career progressed. One told investigators that he fired the doctor because of the problems. Investigators said that a few months after Anderson was said to have been fired, the same university leader gave Anderson a raise.
The son of Schembechler, who said he was abused by the doctor, said the coach didn’t believe him when he told him about it in 1969. His claims couldn’t be confirmed by anyone else.
In 2003, Anderson stepped down. In the last few years, tho, his former patients have said that he left them with years of lingering trauma, from a fear of intrusive medical examinations to feelings of shame.
On Wednesday, Michigan announced that it will no longer be sued by people who say that Anderson cheated on them. After months of talks, this is what happened.
A lot of money has been paid out by universities in the last 10 years in order to settle cases of abuse. More than two dozen people who were abused by Jerry Sandusky, a longtime assistant football coach at Penn State University, will get nearly $60 million from the university, it was said in 2013. One of the victims of Lawrence G. Nassar, a doctor, was paid $500 million by Michigan State University in 2018 to pay for their pain. More than $46 million has been agreed to be paid to people who say that Richard H. Strauss, a longtime team doctor, abused them.
Less than a week after Michigan’s board of regents fired the university president, Mark S. Schlissel, for having a relationship with a subordinate that it said was “inappropriate to the dignity and reputation of the university,” the university announced that it had reached a settlement with the Anderson family.
People who were sexually assaulted at school have agreed to pay large amounts of money to settle their cases. This is a picture of Penn State University from 2013. Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at the university, was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing young boys. The University of Michigan agreed to pay nearly $60 million to 26 victims of his abuse who were abused by Sandusky.
During the year of 2018, Michigan State College. People who were abused by Lawrence G. Nassar, a former school doctor and team doctor for the U.S.A. Gymnastics, reached a $500 million settlement with the university. Nassar sexually abused people both inside and outside of the school. Nassar was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
In 2021, the University of Southern California will be in California. Settlements with former patients of a campus gynecologist who was accused of having sex with a lot of patients have set a new record for sex abuse settlements at colleges.
In 2022, the University of Michigan People who say they were abused by a doctor who worked with football players and other students for years have reached a $490 million settlement with the university.
About 1,500 claimants must still approve the settlement, which was reached thru mediation. The regents are one of the people who still need to sign off on it.
On Wednesday, the board’s chairman, Jordan Acker, said Michigan officials “hope this settlement will start the healing process for those who have been harmed by these crimes.”
It was becoming more and more important for the university to face up to its history. An ex-Michigan running back, Jon Vaughn, started camping outside the university president’s house in October. There were rumblings about legislation that could have made Michigan more vulnerable in the courts.
Some $460 million will go to people who have already filed claims, Michigan said on Wednesday. The university’s lawyers will not be in charge of giving out the money. Instead, a former federal judge will be in charge of making sure the victims get their money.
Asked on Wednesday how Michigan would pay for the settlement, the spokesman for the University of Michigan didn’t say how they would pay for it.
A video call this week told White’s clients about the settlement talks, he said on Wednesday. He said that they were mostly in favor of a deal.
A lot of people want to get this over with, says White. “Dragging this out for three more years in court was not good for anyone.”
The last $30 million of the settlement will go to people who might sue Anderson before July 31, 2023.
Lawyer Michael L. Wright, who is representing Anderson’s victims again, said, “This is one piece of the puzzle that will help them heal and come to terms with what happened to them.” I don’t think this financial settlement will give them all the closure they need, but I think it goes a long way to let them know that Michigan took responsibility, that Michigan knew they had failed these athletes and students, and that Michigan is trying to help them thru this process.