UM, Anderson survivors reach $490M settlement

The settlement between UM and Anderson survivors is about half of the settlement between MSU and Nassar survivors.
FILE- In an undated photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of...
FILE- In an undated photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, Dr. Robert E. Anderson is shown. The president of the University of Michigan has apologized to "anyone who was harmed" by Anderson, a late doctor after several former students said he molested them during medical exams at the school. One man said Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, that Dr. Anderson molested him during a medical exam in 1968 or 1969. Police started investigating the onetime director of the University Health Service and physician for the football team in July 2018 after a former student athlete alleged abuse by Anderson in the 1970s. Anderson died in 2008. (Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP)AP(AP)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 8:40 AM EST
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WILX) - In one of the nation’s biggest sex abuse scandals that spanned decades, sexual abuse accusers of Dr. Robert Anderson have reached a $490 million settlement with the University of Michigan, according to the Associated Press.

Roughly 1,000 accusers - mostly males - will split the settlement, meaning each will get an average of over $438,000 with the exact amount for each individual varying depending on their circumstances. Of the $490 million, $30 million has been set aside for future accusers.

Past coverage: Survivors of former University of Michigan doctor’s abuse demand accountability

In 2018, a historic settlement was reached between Michigan State University and the more than 500 women who were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar. The first round was split $425 million between 333 women, or about $1.27 million each.

The settlement between UM and Anderson survivors is about half of the settlement reached between MSU and Nassar survivors.

More: Survivors of Nassar abuse reach settlement with USA Gymnastics, USOPC

The announcement of the settlement comes just days after the UM Board of Regents fired Mark Schlissel as university president, for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate university employee.

The accusers say the abuse by Dr. Anderson began in the late 1960s and stretched over decades as he served as the head of University Health Services and team physician for the Athletic Department from 1966-2003. He died a few years later in 2008, more than ten years before a former undergraduate student told school officials of the abuse, which he says included sexual molestation.

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By then, the University of Michigan Police Department had been investigating Anderson for 16 months.

Individuals who later claimed to have been victims of Anderson included former student-athletes, pilots, medical students, and a small number of women.

Jamie White, an Okemos-based attorney who represents just under 100 Anderson victims, issued the following statement to News 10:

“The University of Michigan has accepted responsibility financially and otherwise for harm that was caused by Anderson to so many young people that could have been avoided. The university should be commended and not condemned.

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.

It is time for the Michigan legislators to look at why the largest scandals in the history of the country happened at our two largest universities. Other states have addressed this issue. It is time for Michigan leadership to do the same.”

Read more: Alleged Anderson assault survivors speak out

Pilots say they, too, were molested by Univ. of Michigan doc

The University of Michigan also released a statement regarding the settlement:

“We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors,” said Jordan Acker, chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. “At the same time, the work that began two years ago, when the first brave survivors came forward, will continue.”

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said the settlement agreement was the right thing to do.

“This agreement is a critical step among many the university has taken to improve support for survivors and more effectively prevent and address misconduct,” she said.

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