State Watch

University of Michigan settles sexual abuse allegations for $490M

The Michigan Wolverines are seen ahead of a game against Penn State in 2020
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The University of Michigan has agreed to a $490 million settlement with hundreds of former student-athletes who say they were sexually assaulted by a sports doctor while at the school, The Associated Press reported

University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald confirmed that the settlement has been reached in a statement on Wednesday. 

The school has been trying to resolve multiple lawsuits, mostly from former male students, that accuse former school sports doctor Robert Anderson of sexually abusing them during routine medical checkups, according to the AP.

Anderson, who worked at the school from 1966 until 2003, was the director of the University Health Service and a physician for several athletic programs, including football. 

A report by a firm hired by the school determined that university faculty missed opportunities to stop Anderson over nearly four-decade career with the school, the AP reported. 

In a statement, attorney Parker Stinar said 1,050 people will share the reported settlement, which was reached the night before. 

“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 in his statement. “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 latest settlement comes amid the firing of former university President Mark Schlissel, who was accused of having an “inappropriate relationship with a university employee.”

“Most of our clients had a strong love for the University and did not want to see permanent damage, but wanted accountability. I believe we accomplished those goals yesterday,” Attorney Jamie White said in a statement. 

“It is time for the Michigan legislators to look at why two of the largest scandals in the history of the country — Larry Nassar and Robert Anderson — happened at Michigan’s two largest universities. Other states have addressed this issue. It is time for Michigan leadership to do the same.”

Anderson’s survivors Keith Moree and Robert Stone told reporters on Tuesday that the school is ripe for a culture change within its leadership, the AP noted.

This story was updated at 3:19 p.m.

Tags alleged sexual abuse Ann Arbor Michigan University of Michigan
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