Advance Notice: Briefs

University of Michigan reaches $490M settlement with Anderson survivors

By: - January 19, 2022 11:28 am

University of Michigan | Susan J. Demas

The University of Michigan has agreed to a $490 million settlement with 1,050 people who say they were sexually assaulted by former sports doctor Robert Anderson during his four-decade career at the university.

Of the $490 million total, $460 million would be available to the 1,050 claimants, with the other $30 million being set aside for future claimants who choose to participate in the settlement before July 31, 2023.

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

This settlement agreement was reached under the confidential mediation process that’s been ongoing since October 2020 and facilitated by the court-appointed mediator, Robert F. Riley. The process was overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Victoria A. Roberts in the Eastern District of Michigan. 

Claimants and their attorneys will decide amongst themselves how to divide the $460 million. The university will not have a role in that process.

The settlement is pending approval by 98% of the claimants, approval by the U of M Board of Regents and approval by the court.

Interim President Mary Sue Coleman touted the settlement agreement as a “critical step among many the university has taken to improve support for survivors and more effectively prevent and address misconduct.”

Coleman, who previously served as president of the university from 2002 to 2014, was appointed interim president by the Board of Regents on Saturday, after they fired former President Mark Schlissel for having an inappropriate relationship with an employee.

Schlissel participated in a July announcement of new university policies that included prohibiting supervisors from initiating romantic relationships with their subordinates. 

You can report misconduct to U of M here. 

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Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a reporting intern with the Michigan Advance. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and studies journalism at Michigan State University.