University of Michigan
Dr. Anderson Lawsuit Updates
“It is only in a courtroom where the survivors (and the public) can learn the truth. It is in a courtroom, where survivors can compel witnesses … to tell the full truth of Anderson’s abuse and
U-M’s cover up of that abuse.”
What’s happening now in your case against the University of Michigan.
July 18, 2018
UM receives letter from
Current Athletic Director Warde Manuel receives the letter from former UM student-athlete wrestler Tad DeLuca notifying Manual—as he did former Athletic Director Don Canham in 1975— of Anderson’s sexual assault while Deluca was a student between 1972 to 1976, and forwards it to UM’s General Counsel.
October 23, 2018
UM Regent Brown comments on the Nassar case.
UM Regent Paul Brown calls the Nassar assaults “an indictment” on the MSU Board of Trustees who should have designed policies and procedures to prevent sexual assault from happening and to mitigate the damage once it happens just once. “And I hope and believe that the U of M board would avoid such a thing.”
November 5, 2018
UM Detective West’s investigation
of Dr. Anderson.
UM Public Safety and Security Detective Mark West reports the findings of his investigation of Dr. Anderson sexual abuse to UM’s General Counsel. West reports that Tom Easthope, UM’s former Vice President of Student Life had “fired” Anderson in 1979 for preying on male students. It is not clear, however, why or how he moved as a practicing physician in another position at the university. The report portrays a pattern of pervasive abuse by Anderson during medical exams.
January 13, 2019
UM Regents call for firing of gymnastics coach with ties to Nassar.
UM fired gymnastics coach, Rhonda Faehn, in less than one week after hiring her because of her ties to the Nassar scandal after several UM Regents, faculty, students and alumni publicly opposed her hiring.
August 18, 2019
UM receives alumni Robert Stone’s
UM graduate Robert Julian Stone emails UM’s Director of University Health Services with his “Anderson’s Boys, My Michigan Me-Too Moment, 1971” essay revealing graphic and painful details of being sexually assaulted by Dr. Anderson in 1971. The Director forwards the email to UM’s General Counsel.
February 19, 2020
UM knew of sex abuse reports 19 months before going public.
First press story on Anderson. UM learned about allegations of sexual misconduct by former sports physician Dr. Anderson in July 2018 — but 19 months passed before UM announced the reports of sex abuse.
March 4, 2020
First complaint filed against UM.
The Mike Cox Law Firm and the Shea Law Firm file the first complaint, of many, against UM for their misconduct in the Anderson sex abuse scandal on behalf of student athletes who have been abused by Anderson, exposing that UM knew about Anderson’s abuse as early as 1968.
March 7, 2020
UM fires Steptoe & Johnson.
UM dismisses the law firm, Steptoe & Johnson, it hired to conduct an investigation into the Anderson sex abuse scandal after it was revealed that the law firm previously represented other sex offenders, Jeffrey Epstein and director Roman Polanski.
March 12, 2020
UM regent Weiser says he was molested by doctor, too.
The current chair of UM Regents, Ron Weiser reveals that he was sexually abused by Anderson while he was a freshman wrestler at UM in 1963 until he was a graduate in 1967. At the time of the medical examinations, he did not consider Anderson’s acts sexual assault.
March 24, 2020
UM won’t waive privilege for
UM’s investigation will be conducted by WilmerHale under attorney-client privilege. “The [WilmerHale] ‘investigation’ will cost UM millions and prove what we already know: that for three decades, UM’s leadership let a known sexual predator prey on its (students),” said Cox. Cox asked if WilmerHale will “really focus on the corrupt leadership” at UM that allegedly allowed this to happen including past university presidents who “knew about Anderson’s preying on hundreds of young men for the past year and only reacted when the press broke the story.”
April 5, 2020
UM should allow the Attorney
General to investigate.
Cox said UM should have gone to Attorney General Nessel to conduct the independent investigation of Anderson instead of WilmerHale: “They don’t want to open themselves up to public scrutiny, to scrutiny by the victims and survivors of Dr. Anderson,” said Cox. “It’s disappointing, it’s shameful and it’s certainly not being the leader, and certainly not being the best.”
April 7, 2020
UM’s letter to students is
UM sends a letter to over six thousand former student-athletes, asking them to speak with their investigators and their law firm, WilmerHale. “I view the WilmerHale investigation as window dressing and not something that is going to move the ball for any of the victims,” Cox said.
April 22, 2020
Chuck Christian, former football player, opens up about abuse.
April 28, 2020
U-M attempts to avoid public and court scrutiny.
UM announces its plan to try to avoid the scrutiny of the public and the court system in addressing the claims of victims of Anderson outside of the court system. “It is these survivors’ court claims which U-M must address and answer … that are now driving U-M to do what it is trying to do: avoid public and court scrutiny for what it did to these survivors when they were athletes, and more recently when U-M tried covering up the horrific acts of Anderson for 19 months,” Cox said.
May 1, 2020
UM files motions to
UM admits that Dr. Anderson sexually abused student-athletes, but seeks to dismiss all the lawsuits dismissed claiming they are “filed decades too late.”
May 5, 2020
Cases assigned to Judge
Victoria A. Roberts.
Our cases are transferred to Judge Victoria A. Roberts, a President Clinton appointee, who has been on the bench since 1998.
May 13, 2020
UM dismisses their
UM dismisses their litigation attorneys, Bush Seyferth, two weeks after they filed motions to dismiss plaintiffs’ cases.
June 10, 2020
Easthope to be deposed.
Judge orders deposition of Tom Easthope, former Associate VP who fired Anderson in 1979 for sexual misconduct, which is a major step in uncovering the scope of UM’s wrongdoing and cover-up of Anderson’s abuse.
June 11, 2020
Ward Black, former gymnast, opens up about abuse.
Ward Black, a member of the 1970 national gymnastics championship team, speaks out about Anderson’s abuse. UM coaches were aware of Anderson’s sexual misconduct decades ago, but failed to take the complaints higher: “You don’t rock the boat with Don Canham.”
June 16, 2020
UM sends 300k letters to alumni.
UM sends another letter to more than 300,000 alumni, asking them to come forward to WilmerHale with information regarding Anderson’s abuse.
June 24, 2020
Judge Roberts orders Schlissel to join court conference.
Judge orders UM President Schlissel to appear before her within two weeks because of Schlissel’s most recent letter to over 300,000 alumni encouraging them to contact UM’s investigative law firm WilmerHale.
June 25, 2020
Easthope’s “handshake deal.”
Ex-student reports that in 1979, after being sexually assaulted by Anderson, former Vice President for Student Services, Tom Easthope, offered him a “handshake deal” to move Anderson to an administrative job at which he wouldn’t come in contact with students.
July 24, 2020
Jon Vaughn, former football player, opens up about abuse.
Jon Vaughn, former UM running back and former running back for the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, opens up about “the cost of being a Michigan Man” and the realization that he is a sexual abuse survivor and that UM exposed him to a predator. “You start to remember things …” “Then you get this ‘aha’ moment that—you were raped. Several times,” said Vaughn.
July 28, 2020
Cox deposed Tom Easthope.
Cox deposed Tom Easthope, UM’s former Associate Vice President of Student Life, now 86 years old, who “fired” Anderson in 1979 for sexual misconduct at University Health Services. But then UM decided to move this known (known to UM) predator to work full time in the Athletic Department, where he stayed until 2003.
August 5, 2020
After WilmerHale released a report detailing sexual misconduct allegations against Philbert, lawyers representing Anderson victims said they do not feel confident in the firm’s future report on Anderson, which is expected to be released before the end of October. “WilmerHale knows who’s buttering their bread, and it’s UM,” Cox said. “They may do a good job, but it’s hard to call it an independent investigation. I hope they name names and don’t blur out some of the facts.”
August 6, 2020
Judge Roberts orders UM to alert alumni of lawsuits.
Judge Roberts, to protect survivors of Anderson’s abuse from confusing and potentially misleading communications from UM, ordered that UM may not send correspondence to its alumni about the lawsuits and WilmerHale’s investigation without prior approval of firms representing survivors. The Court also restricted WilmerHale from sharing information it is collecting with the law firm representing UM, protecting you against UM’s attorneys getting an unfair advantage in your case.
August 12, 2020
Dwight Hicks, former football player, opens up about abuse.
Former UM football player and Super Bowl champion Dwight Hicks and Airron Richardson, a former UM and Olympic wrestler, announce they were abused by Anderson.
September 10, 2020
New information revealed that former UM VP overruled Anderson’s firing.
Former Vice President for Student Services Henry Johnson overturned the 1979 decision to terminate Anderson according to testimony by former UM associate vice president for student services, Tom Easthope. Easthope testified that he told Johnson that Anderson was abusing students. “I didn’t just go knocking off people without Henry knowing about it,” he said. “(B)ut I did tell him what I knew about (the abuse).” Anderson was allowed by UM to stay on in the Athletic Department for another 24 years as the team physician, abusing student athletes.
September 16, 2020
The “Empowering Survivors” legislative package introduced
Bipartisan bills were announced to break barriers to suing state university employees accused of sexual assault, including former University of Michigan physician Robert Anderson. One bill aims to reform governmental immunity by revoking a school’s ability to claim legal immunity when the abuse occurred under the guise of medical care and the school knew or should have known, but failed to act to stop future instances. The other bill aims to reform the statute of limitations to open a one-year window to filing suit by those abused under the guise of medical care. The lawmakers were joined at the press conference by sexual abuse survivors, including former U-M football players Jon Vaughn and Dr. John Lott and former U-M wrestler Tad DeLuca.
September 25, 2020
Ex-UM vice president Henry Johnson to be deposed.
Judge Roberts orders former UM vice president and a onetime Wolverine football player, Henry Johnson, to be deposed over allegations of sexual abuse by Anderson. Johnson overruled Easthope in 1980 when Easthope tried to fire Anderson after learning of allegations that Anderson was sexually abusing male students during exams.
September 30, 2020
UM again files motions to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Complaints.
UM admits and “recognizes the harms [Anderson] caused and is committed to developing a fair, just, timely, and efficient resolution process—one that does not require drawn-out litigation.” Yet, UM moves to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ claims, arguing that it’s too late: “Anderson has been dead for 12 years, he has not been employed by the University for 17 years, and the conduct at issue occurred more than 30 years ago.”
October 21, 2020
UM failed for decades to heed warnings about doctor’s alleged sex abuse
According to interviews, police reports and lawsuits, Anderson, as director of UM’s health service and the Athletic Department’s team physician preyed mostly on young males and athletes over more than three decades. One student, Keith Moree, says Anderson apologized during a 1981 meeting, which included former UM associate VP for student services, Tom Easthope, for sexually
October 21, 2020
UM’s cost from Anderson allegations: $10.7M and rising.
UM has spent more than $10.7 million so far on legal fees, counseling and an investigation linked to the sexual assault accusations against Anderson. Those costs are just the beginning.
October 23, 2020
Mediation set to begin.
Mediation is set to begin Oct. 23, 2020, between lawyers representing the University of Michigan and victims of alleged sexual abuse by late athletic doctor Robert Anderson. Mike Cox, who represents 117 survivors of Anderson, said mediation could take several months, noting that mediation in the Larry Nassar scandal took anywhere from six to 18 months. “And that’s if it’s successful,” Cox said. “It may not be successful, and we’ll go back to litigation, but I’m hopeful.”
Decmeber 3, 2020
UM hires firm to reform culture around sexual misconduct.
UM hired an expert consulting firm, Guidepost Solutions, to help assess and change the culture of sexual misconduct surrounding numerous accused faculty members. “A firm like Guidepost that has a top-down approach to culture and policy reform is the type of firm and multi-faceted approach that is desperately needed at UM,” Rachael Denhollander said. “The multiple sexual abuse scandals they have had from the provost to Dr. (Robert) Anderson, there are both policy breakdowns and there are cultural breakdowns at the UM level, including things that happened in the administration.”
Decmeber 27, 2020
Records contradict what former top UM officials told police about doctor’s alleged sex abuse.
UM detective Mark West uncovered documents that contradict statements made by three former top university officials (Tom Easthope; Henry Johnson, and Dr. Anna Davol) to police months before sexual misconduct allegations against Anderson exploded into public view. All said Anderson had either left UM or went to work in another department after a sexual misconduct allegation against him emerged in 1979. But, West found two memos and a letter written shortly after the earliest allegation against the controversial doctor emerged in 1979 that conflict with those statements.
January 29, 2021
Former Red Wing, Aaron Ward, reveals he was victim of Anderson at Michigan.
Former Red Wings defenseman and two-time Stanley Cup winner Aaron Ward revealed that he was among Dr. Robert Anderson’s victims of sexual abuse as a 17- and 18-year-old student-athlete at the University of Michigan. Ward said the abuse he suffered from Dr. Anderson contributed to a gambling addiction that plagued him for years. “I was sexually abused by a doctor in a professional environment at the University of Michigan and suppressed it forever,…”
February 7, 2021
Dr. Anderson abused pilots seeking FAA physicals.
Another category of victims has emerged: pilots in southeastern Michigan who needed physicals to get or maintain a license. For 40 years, Anderson was designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a medical examiner in the region. It’s not known how many people in aviation will make assault claims about Anderson; they don’t have to step forward yet to become part of a likely class-action settlement with the university. But some already have joined the many lawsuits against the university by former students.
February 18, 2021
One-year anniversary of The Detroit News exposing UM’s coverup.
One year ago, a small group of men were beginning to come forward and accuse Anderson of similar allegations and demanding that UM launch an investigation. Their voices inspired 100s of other men to come forward with similar sexual misconduct allegations against Anderson, thus beginning a process of healing, justice and reconciliation.
February 20, 2021
Sexual assault legislation reintroduced one year after investigation.
Two members of Michigan’s House of Representatives have reintroduced a legislative package they say would remove barriers for victims of sexual assault pursuing justice. The Empowering Survivors legislation would lift the statute of limitations for a year for lawsuits against a state university and would also limit the ability of an institution to claim governmental immunity in instances of abuse under the guise of medical care.
February 26, 2021
Former UM Vice President Tom Easthope dies.
Former UM Vice President Tom Easthope died recently. He “fired” Dr. Anderson on August 13, 1979 for abusing gay students at the University Health Services and then 18 months later, on January 7, 1981, Easthope did a “handshake” deal with a gay undergraduate student, Keith Moree, who reported being abuse months after Anderson was “fired” by Easthope in 1979. Easthope promised Mr. Moree that if Moree did not go “public” about Dr. Anderson, then Easthope would move him to an administrative position where Anderson could not treat student patients. Instead, six months later, UM moved Dr. Anderson full-time to the Athletic Department as the Athletic Department’s first full-time physician.
March 31, 2021
Former UM doc’s accusers deserve justice, voice.
More than a year ago, UM announced it would complete an investigation of the rapidly expanding sexual abuse allegations involving a former university physician, Dr. Robert Anderson. We are still waiting for their investigation to be released while survivors, remain caught in a lengthy mediation over legal action we took as their only path to justice. The Board of Regents should be listening to survivors, not turning them away. Furthermore, they should be moving more quickly to bring about a resolution so justice can carry the day.
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UM’s Motion to Consolidate Cases (4-03-20)
John Doe MC-1’s Response to UM’s Motion to Consolidate Cases(4-17-20)
John Doe MC-1’s Emergency Motion for Deposition of Tom Easthope (4-17-20)
UM’s Reply in Support of its Motion to Consolidate Cases(4-20-20)
UM’s Motion to Dismiss John Doe MC-4 (5-1-20)
UM’s Response to Plaintiff’s Motion for Deposition of Tom Easthope (5-1-20)
John Doe MC-1’s Reply Brief for its Emergency Motion for Deposition of Tom Easthope (5-8-20)
Stipulation and Order (6-10-20)
Order Following June 23, 2020 Status Conference Ordering UM President Schissel to Appear (6-24-20)
Easthope’s Motion for Protective Order (6-24-20)
UM’s Emergency Motion for Reconsideration re Order following Status Conference(6-26-20)
UM’s Motion to Extend Deadline for Initial Production (6-30-20)
Order re UM’s Mtn for Extension of Time for Initial Production(7-02-20)
Order re Wilmerhale Investigation(8-06-20)
MSU/Nassar & OSU/Strauss Case Headlines
View news on how other Big Ten Universities are responding to their own sex abuse scandals.
February 5, 2018
Dr. Larry Nasser is sentenced to prison after nationally televised allocutions by his victims.
Decmeber 21, 2018
A Michigan Attorney General report reveals multiple MSU staff, athletic trainers, and doctors were informed of the Nassar complaints but failed to report or investigate them. MSU repeatedly stonewalled the AG’s investigators and valued financial and legal considerations over victims and public interest.
April 24, 2018
Mike DiSabato, former Ohio State wrestler makes allegations against Dr. Richard Strauss for committing Dr. Anderson-like acts on OSU athletes.
Series of national news stories circulating accusing Rep. Jim Jordan, then-assistant wrestling coach at OSU, now a congressman, and a close ally of President Trump, of knowing about the sexual misconduct complaints against team doctor Strauss.
January 17, 2019
Federal judge in OSU cases related to Dr. Strauss’ sex abuse orders parties to mediation.
March 6, 2020
OSU settles about half of the cases related to Dr. Strauss’ sex abuse, approximately 150 victims.
October 5, 2020
Why Aren’t More People Talking About the Ohio State Sex Abuse Scandal?
The scale of Richard Strauss’s abuses is comparable to those of Larry Nassar. Yet, the OSU scandal has drawn minimal media attention. OSU is taking a strikingly hardline stance with so many of the 350-plus survivors who have sued the school. Former OSU athletes are negotiating smaller settlements, measured against the amounts received by the victims of Nassar. Maybe part of the reason is that Strauss’s survivors are male athletes in their late teens early 20s, and society has difficulty accepting male on male sexual assault, especially by a team doctor on physically prime athletes. “There’s no way society as a whole is going to look at wrestlers and football players the way they do five-feet-tall gymnasts,” says Rocky Ratliff, lawyer and former OSU wrestler.