Michigan university reaches $490 million abuse settlement with hundreds of sexual assault survivors

Attorney Parker Stinar said Wednesday that 1,050 survivors will share in the settlement, which was reached the night before

The Associated Press January 19, 2022 19:28:12 IST
Michigan university reaches $490 million abuse settlement with hundreds of sexual assault survivors

Jon Vaughn, a former University of Michigan football player from 1988 to 1991 speaks during a news conference in Ann Arbor on 16 June. Two men who say they were sexually assaulted by a former sports doctor at the University of Michigan are hoping that a change in leadership with the weekend firing of president Mark Schlissel will allow the school be more accountable toward abuse victims. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The University of Michigan has agreed to a $490 million settlement with hundreds of people who say they were sexually assaulted by a former sports doctor at the school, those involved in the agreement said Wednesday.

Attorney Parker Stinar said that 1,050 people will share in the settlement, which was reached the night before.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirmed the settlement and said a statement would be released later Wednesday.

“I am proud to announce that a settlement was reached with the 1,050 survivors of Robert Anderson and the University of Michigan,” Stinar said. “It has been a long and challenging journey, and I believe this settlement will provide justice and healing for the many brave men and women who refused to be silenced.”

The university had been in mediation to resolve multiple lawsuits by mostly men who said Anderson sexually abused them during routine medical examinations. Anderson worked at the university from 1966 until his 2003 retirement and was director of the university’s Health Service and a physician for multiple athletic teams, including football.

A number of football players and other athletes have come forward to accuse Anderson, who died in 2008, of sexually abusing them.

A report by a firm hired by the school determined that staff missed many opportunities to stop Anderson over his 37-year career.

The university regularly is ranked among the top public universities in the US.

The deal came just after two men who say they were sexually assaulted by Anderson said they were hoping that a change in leadership with the weekend firing of university president Mark Schlissel would allow the school be more accountable toward abuse victims.

Keith Moree and Robert Stone told reporters Tuesday that the Ann Arbor school is ripe for a culture change as its board conducts a search to permanently replace Schlissel, who was removed Saturday due to an alleged “inappropriate relationship with a university employee.”

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