February 11, 2022

The University of Michigan announced on January 10, 2022 that approximately 1,050 claimants who have alleged sexual abuse by the late University of Michigan physician Robert E. Anderson will receive $460 million in settlement of their claims, and an additional $30 million is reserved for future claimants who choose to participate in the settlement before July 31, 2023. The settlement is contingent on documentation and approval by the Board of Regents, approval by 98% of the claimants (as recommended by their attorneys), and approval by the court.

The settlement will be paid from University of Michigan reserves and insurance proceeds. Over the years, the University of Michigan has built up reserves from a variety of funding sources. The University will use these funds — excluding tuition and student fee receipt, gift receipts and state appropriation receipts — to supplement insurance proceeds to cover the costs of the settlement.

The Allegations And The Investigation 

In March 2020, the University of Michigan hired a law firm to take over an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Anderson. The law firm found that Anderson engaged in a “pervasive, decades-long, destructive pattern of sexual misconduct” involving hundreds of University students. The investigation report, released in May 2021, stated that University officials knew about the misconduct as early as 1978, yet the sexual misconduct continued for decades. Anderson worked at the University of Michigan from 1966 to 2003. He died in 2008.

The law firm’s report also found that Anderson’s misconduct “occurred across his various roles at the university and throughout his University career — with patients who sought treatment from him at (University Health Service), with student-athletes who were sent to him for required pre-participation physical examinations, and with medical students he was responsible for teaching.”

In addition to many patients who received unnecessary or inappropriate sensitive examinations from Anderson, a smaller group of patients described clinical experiences in which Anderson engaged in overtly sexual conduct.

The law firm’s report stated that over his 37-year career at the University of Michigan, “Anderson’s misconduct ranged from performing medically unnecessary hernia and rectal examinations on patients seeking treatment for wholly unrelated issues, to manually stimulating male patients … to quid-pro-quo arrangements in which he provided medical services in exchange for sexual contact.”

The Chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents stated with regard to the settlement, “We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors. At the same time, the work that began two years ago, when the first brave survivors came forward, will continue.” The President of the University of Michigan stated in an email to the University community on January 19, 2022: “At the same time, our work is not complete. The Board and administration plan to accelerate further efforts to work toward a campus with a positive, nurturing and safe culture that reflects our values as a community. We will strive to be free from abuse and sexual misconduct, building on the work that hundreds in our community are committed to succeeding.”


If you or a loved one have been sexually abused by a doctor or other health care provider in Michigan or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a Michigan medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your sexual abuse medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a sexual misconduct medical malpractice case against a doctor or other health care provider who sexually abused you or your loved one, if appropriate.

Click on the “Contact Us Now” tab to the right, visit our website, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find sexual abuse medical malpractice lawyers in your U.S. state who may assist you.

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