Judge signs off on fund for U-Michigan doctor’s victims

Sep 16, 2022, 3:46 AM | Updated: 4:54 pm
FILE - This undated photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan ...

FILE - This undated photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan shows Dr. Robert E. Anderson. Attorneys representing sexual-assault victims of Anderson, a former University of Michigan sports doctor, are asking a judge to approve a settlement fund, a key step in a $490 million deal between the school and more than 1,000 people. (Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP, File)

(Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP, File)

DETROIT (AP) — A judge on Friday signed off on a fund for more than 1,000 people who said they were sexually assaulted by a University of Michigan doctor, an order that allows victims to start collecting a portion of a $490 million settlement negotiated with the school.

“The University of Michigan offers its heartfelt apology for the abuse perpetrated by the late Robert Anderson. We hope this settlement helps the healing process for survivors,” said Paul Brown, chairman of the school’s governing board.

Anderson died in 2008 after working at the university for nearly 40 years. He was director of the campus Health Service and a physician for multiple sports teams, including football.

Former athletes, students and others who had no connection to the university — mostly men — said they were molested by Anderson during routine physicals or other visits.

The settlement was announced in January, but the final details took months to wrap up. The university said the deal recently got approval from 98% of claimants.

“It’s been a long road,” said Richard Schulte, a lead negotiator for Anderson’s victims. “I’m very happy for the survivors and glad I could get it across the finish line.”

The university will have no role in how the money is distributed. Six percent, or $30 million, of the settlement will be set aside for people who step forward later with claims.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts approved creation of the fund and appointed Houston-based Archer Systems LLC as the claims administrator.

“The process is completely confidential, but we’re hopeful distribution should take place this fall,” Schulte said.

The scandal emerged publicly in 2020, two years after Tad DeLuca, a wrestler in the 1970s, made a complaint that triggered a police investigation, though Anderson was long deceased.

That triggered a wave of men who stepped forward to say they, too, had been assaulted by Anderson; some allegations stretched back decades. Lawsuits followed.

The university, meanwhile, hired law firm WilmerHale to conduct an investigation. The results were devastating: Anderson harassed, abused and assaulted patients on “countless occasions” during his 37-year career.

Coaches, trainers and other staff in the athletic department did not question Anderson’s status, despite complaints, rumors and even jokes among athletes about his behavior, according to the report.

The report said complaints were made to athletic director Don Canham and legendary football coach Bo Schembechler but no action was taken. Both are deceased.

Anderson also was certified by the federal government to give physicals to pilots and air traffic controllers in southeastern Michigan, some of whom count themselves as victims.

“We consider this settlement just one of the steps we have taken in a process we began more than two years ago to fully understand what happened, make amends and enact reforms,” Brown said. “Our work is not done until U-M is considered the leader in creating a campus environment that is safe for everyone.”

Not everyone was satisfied. Richard Goldman, a student broadcaster and Anderson victim in the early 1980s, said Schembechler referred him to Canham but the powerful athletic director didn’t intervene.

“Seriously, fake apologies are not accepted,” Goldman said of Brown’s remarks.

The settlement is one of several by universities following sex abuse scandals. Michigan State University paid $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by Larry Nassar, a campus sports doctor and a doctor for USA Gymnastics.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwritez

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Malaysia Airlines planes taxi at a terminal while taking passengers at Kuala Lumpur Internat...
Associated Press

Malaysia aims to add US flights after safety rating boost

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has upgraded Malaysia’s air safety rating to Category 1, allowing the country’s carriers to expand flights to the United States after a three-year hiatus, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said Saturday. Wee said the move will bolster tourism and economic growth in Malaysia, which opened […]
1 day ago
FILE - China's ambassador in Geneva ambassador Chen Xu makes a media statement criticising the U.S....
Associated Press

Western push on China, Russia at UN rights body faces test

GENEVA (AP) — Western countries are leading a rare two-pronged push at the U.N.’s main human rights body to better scrutinize the human rights records of two big world powers: China, over allegations of abuses during an anti-extremism campaign in western Xinjiang, and Russia, over its government’s crackdown on dissent and protest against the war […]
1 day ago
FILE - A view of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant and the Dnipro river on the other side of Nikopol, ...
Associated Press

Russia accused of ‘kidnapping’ head of Ukraine nuclear plant

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s nuclear power provider accused Russia on Saturday of “kidnapping” the head of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, a facility now occupied by Russian troops. Russian forces seized the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ihor Murashov, around 4 p.m. Friday, Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said. Energoatom said Russian […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Athletics take 5-game losing streak into matchup against the Mariners

Oakland Athletics (56-101, fifth in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (86-70, second in the AL West) Seattle; Saturday, 4:10 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Athletics: JP Sears (6-3, 4.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 45 strikeouts); Mariners: Luis Castillo (7-6, 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 159 strikeouts) FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Mariners -268, Athletics +218; over/under is 6 1/2 […]
1 day ago
FILE - Latvia's Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summi...
Associated Press

Latvian leader’s party expected to fare well in election

HELSINKI (AP) — Polling stations opened Saturday in Latvia for a general election influenced by neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, disintegration among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic-Russian minority and the economy, particularly high energy prices. Several polls showed the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter with up […]
1 day ago
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a member of the Chinese honor guard unfurls the Chine...
Associated Press

Hong Kong leader promises revival on China’s National Day

BEIJING (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader promised Saturday to revive its struggling economy following a campaign to crush a pro-democracy movement as China’s ruling Communist Party marked its 73rd anniversary in power under strict anti-virus controls. In Beijing, crowds of spectators watched a 96-member honor guard raise the Chinese flag on Tiananmen Square in the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Judge signs off on fund for U-Michigan doctor’s victims