University of Michigan agrees to $490 million settlement for victims of sports doctor's sexual abuse

The late Dr. Robert Anderson allegedly abused upwards of 1,000 victims over the course of his four-decade career at the university

Updated: January 19, 2022 - 3:00pm

The University of Michigan has announced a $490 million settlement with over 1,000 former student-athletes who say they were sexually abused by one of the college's former sports doctors – Dr. Robert Anderson.

According to the school's team of attorneys, Michigan had been in mediation to resolve a handful of lawsuits, brought primarily by men, that accused the late Dr. Anderson of sexually assaulting them during standard medical examinations dating back as far as six decades. 

"It has been a long and challenging journey, and I believe this settlement will provide justice and healing for the many brave men and women who refused to be silenced," attorney representing about 200 victims said.

Roughly $460 million of the settlement will be split among 1,050 of the victims, while about $30 million will be set aside for future accusers. 

Anderson worked at the university from 1966 to 2003 when he retired. He died in 2008. While at the university, he served as the top physician for multiple athletic teams, including the football team. 

The school claims it was first made aware of the allegations in 2018 when a former student wrote a letter detailing the abuse he endured in the 1970s. A firm hired by the school to probe the allegations found that on many occasions school officials missed opportunities to stop Anderson.

The announcement of the settlement arrives just days after the university made the decision to fire its president, Dr. Mark Schlissel, for allegedly engaging in an affair with someone who worked for him.