The University of Michigan will pay a $490 million settlement with hundreds of former athletes who claimed they were sexually assaulted by the school’s former sports doctor, those involved with the agreement confirmed to ESPN Wednesday (January 19) morning.
Attorney Parker Stinar confirmed the 1,050 individuals who accused former sports doctor Robert Anderson of committing sexual assault will share the settlement, which was reached Tuesday (January 18) night.
University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald also confirmed the settlement to ESPN and said the school planned to release an official statement later Wednesday.
“I am proud to announce that a settlement was reached with the 1,050 survivors of Robert Anderson and the University of Michigan,” Stinar said via ESPN. “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.”
The University of Michigan has been working to resolve several lawsuits, mostly filed by male victims, in which Anderson — who worked at the university from 1966 until his retirement in 2003 and served as director of Health Service and a physician for multiple athletic teams — is accused of committing sexual abuse during routine medical examinations.
Numerous student athletes, including former members of the Michigan football team, have come forward with accusations of sexual abuse against Anderson, who died in 2008.
A firm that oversaw the case reports the University of Michigan missed many opportunities to stop Anderson during his 37-year tenure.
Attorney Mick Grewal, who represented 250 of the 1,050 plaintiffs involved in the case, referred to the settlement as “a victory for survivors of sex abuse” while speaking with ESPN‘s Dan Murphy.
“It’s another step toward obtaining transparency, accountability and justice,” Grewal said via ESPN. “It can help change our culture, but it could not have happened without the brave men and women who stepped forward to tell their stories.”