Jan 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

University of Michigan reaches $490M settlement in sex abuse case

on Vaughn, former University of Michigan and former NFL football player, speaks at a press conference on the University of Michigan campus on June 16, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Jon Vaughn, a former University of Michigan and NFL football player, speaks at a press conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., in June 2021. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The University of Michigan on Wednesday reached a $490 million settlement with over a thousand survivors who allege that they were sexually assaulted by a former physician in the school's athletic department.

Driving the news: "It's been a long and challenging journey and these survivors have refused to remain silent," attorney Parker Stinar said Wednesday.

  • "Because of their persistency to hold the university accountable, justice is finally served on their behalf," Stinar said.

The big picture: Sexual abuse allegations against Robert Anderson, who worked for the school from 1966 to 2003 and was a physician for multiple sports teams, were first publicized in February 2020.

  • Since Anderson's death in 2008, more than 950 individuals have come forward to report instances of sexual misconduct committed by the doctor, according to the Michigan Daily.
  • The settlement also comes days after the University of Michigan removed Mark Schlissel as president due to an alleged "inappropriate relationship with a university employee."

Between the lines: $460 million of the settlement will be allocated to the 1,050 survivors who have already come forward. An additional $30 million is being set aside in a reserve fund for survivors that may come forward in the future.

  • "If that fund is not exhausted, then it goes back to the 1,050," Stinar said.
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