Here’s how U-M assault settlement will work
DETROIT » A $490 million deal to settle claims of sexual assault against a University of Michigan doctor will be handled in a similar way to the $500 million agreement worked out in 2018 by Michigan State University and the victims of Larry Nassar.
The school won’t have a role in how the money is di- vided. Rather a retired judge, maybe two, will be presented with individual claims and determine a fig- ure, attorneys said.
Simple math pegs an average payment of more than $400,000 for each of the 1,050 people — most of them men — though some could be higher or lower, depending on the impact of Robert Anderson’s abuse.
“Everybody is not going to be the same,” attorney Jamie White said. “These men were not out for money. Most of them are established U. of M. graduates. This was more about holding the university accountable.”
Former students and athletes at U-M said Anderson molested them during exams. He was a campus doctor for 37 years, especially in the athletic department, before retiring in 2003 and also gave physicals to people in the aviation industry. He died in 2008.
The allegations about Anderson emerged in 2018 when a wrestler from the 1970s wrote a letter to the athletic director, who referred it to police. A subsequent investigation found that complaints about Anderson were lodged multiple times years earlier, yet no one at the university got rid of him.
The school’s response
When lawsuits were filed in 2020, U-M lawyers said the allegations were too old and violated Michigan’s time limit on filing personal-injury cases. But outside court, the university acknowledged that assaults occurred and expressed a willingness to reach an agreement with the growing pool of victims.
“We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors,” Jordan Acker, chairman of the school’s governing board, said Wednesday.