Sexual abuse victims to receive $490 million — Analysis

Survivors of sexual assaults – mostly men – by the late sports physician Dr. Robert Anderson will collectively get a $490 million compensation from the University of Michigan. According to the university, 1,050 individuals will be part of the settlement. 

They will split $460 million with their lawyers. The remaining $30 million is set aside to be used for any future claims up until July 31, 2022. It is the most significant case in American history regarding sexual exploitation.

After 15 months of mediation between victims and university, the settlement was reached Tuesday. Mary Sue Coleman, interim president of the University of Michigan, called it “a critical step among many the university has taken to improve support for survivors and more effectively prevent and address misconduct.”

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Tad Deluca presented a different point of view after he filed a complaint in 2018 against Anderson. He spoke to the Associated Press by telephone about his concerns that other issues will not be addressed in this settlement. 

“The settlement is going to gloss things over so Michigan can go back to having a glossy block ‘M’ and look wonderful for the world,” Deluca said, making reference to the university’s logo.

Anderson served as the University of Michigan’s director of Health Service from 1966 to his retirement in 2003. He was director of the university’s Health Service and a physician for multiple athletic teams. Anderson was a victim of multiple abuse allegations, which the university disclosed in 2020. The university is accused of not removing Anderson despite numerous complaints. 

A report of a law firm hired by the university shows that staff had many opportunities to step in over the course of Anderson’s career, but repeatedly missed chances to stop his misconduct, despite complaints and rumors circulating among students. 

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