State lawmakers push to allow more lawsuits in U of M abuse case | Michigan Radio
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State lawmakers push to allow more lawsuits in U of M abuse case

Sep 16, 2020

Dr. Robert Anderson
Credit UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN / BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY

New legislation would make it easier for former University of Michigan athletes to file civil lawsuits against U of M alleging sexual abuse by a now-deceased university physician.

Dr. Robert Anderson spent more than 30 years at U of M. More than a hundred former students suing the university say he abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

“They made a choice not to protect us...instead the university enabled our abuser,” says Jon Vaughn, a former U of M football player. 

The bi-partisan bill package would give sexual assault survivors a one-year window to file lawsuits that otherwise would not meet the statute of limitations.  The legislation would also loosen Michigan’s governmental immunity laws.

“This type of behavior must be stopped. As should the legal tactics used to protect these institutions from lawsuits when the abuse occurs,” says State Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Twp). “These reforms will support and empower the survivors abused at the University of Michigan and other places to seek justice and accountability.”

U of M has cited the statute of limitations as a reason to dismiss the lawsuits.

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