As reported by The Detroit News, on June 23, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts of the Eastern District of Michigan said she will issue an order barring the University of Michigan from contacting any more potential victims of the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson, a former UM doctor and athletics program physician accused of sexual assault by hundreds of former student-patients.
The decision comes after several attorneys representing alleged victims of the doctor told the judge during a status conference call that it would be a conflict of interest for UM to contact potential victims in the middle of litigation against the university. In addition, the lawyers expressed concern over UM contacting possible victims without notifying them that lawyers are available to represent their interests.
The decision also came one week after the university announced it had expanded its own investigation and reached out to nearly 300,000 alumni who attended UM while Anderson was there. Previously, it had contacted only 7,000 athletes.
Lieff Cabraser partner Jonathan D. Selbin, who represents the plaintiffs’ in the proposed class action lawsuit against the university, said UM’s outreach is concerning because its contacting potential victims without even letting them know there is a proposed class action lawsuit.
“They have obligation to let us know what they are sending out,” said Selbin. “They probably have an obligation to get either our agreement or the court’s approval for such communications. They need to disclose to folks, at a minimum, that there are lawyers representing their interests.”
Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin has been appointed to a leadership role as Interim Co-Class Counsel representing the plaintiff student athletes in the sexual abuse litigation against U of M. You can use the short contact form on this page to reach out to Ms. Martin about your experience and possible participation in the class action lawsuit.