Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
University of Michigan

Univ. of Michigan Vice President Overrode Decision to Fire Sexual Predator Dr. Robert Anderson Despite Abuse Allegations

As reported by The Detroit News, new testimony in the sexual abuse litigation against the University of Michigan and the late Dr. Robert Anderson has revealed that a longtime UofM vice president overturned a 1979 decision to fire Anderson, university doctor and athletics program physician, over allegations he sexually assaulted hundreds of students. The decision allowed Anderson to remain employed at the university overseeing the care of athletes and other students for another 24 years.

“[The] testimony confirms that U of M’s most senior administrators were aware of Dr. Anderson’s misconduct yet gave him free rein to continue to abuse thousands of students,” said Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin, who serves as interim co-class counsel for the plaintiffs. “All these victims deserve an opportunity to obtain justice and create lasting change to prevent this type of abuse from ever occurring again at U of M.”

During a recent deposition, Anderson’s supervisor, Thomas Easthope, the former UM associate vice president for student services, said that his boss at the time, Vice President for Student Services Henry Johnson, overrode his decision to terminate Anderson, according to documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

“It was predictable that, if Anderson ‘were allowed to stay . . . the number [of abused students] would go up,” the court filing noted.

Easthope’s testimony is particularly significant as many of the university officials who have been accused of failing to stop Anderson are now deceased.

Learn more about the student athlete sexual abuse class action against the University of Michigan / Dr. Robert Anderson.

If You Are A Victim of Sexual Abuse

Lieff Cabraser represents individuals nationwide in sexual abuse lawsuits against their physicians, teachers, clergy, and other abusers, including the USC sexual abuse litigation filed on behalf of nearly 18,000 women abused by University gynecologist George Tyndall, where Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin serves as co-lead class counsel whose efforts led to a historic settlement for victims of $215 million and sweeping institutional reforms at USC.

If you were sexually abused by Dr. Robert Anderson, we urge you to contact Annika or Lieff Cabraser attorney Patrick Andrews today about your legal rights and potential recovery at 800 541-7358 or by using the secure form on this page. There is no charge or obligation for our review of your case, and all information will be held in the strictest confidence.