Lawsuit filed in U-M doctor sex scandal as explosive allegations emerge
FOX 2 - There are some explosive allegations in this civil lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan in federal court Wednesday.
It alleges the school knew the doctor was a sexual predator - one that attorneys say, was enabled for decades.
"They illustrate in vivid, bold color a predator run amuck with the okay of the university administration," said attorney Mike Cox.
Cox's law firm is representing reported victims claiming they were sexually abused by the late former University of Michigan Doctor Robert Anderson.
He says U-M knew about Anderson's alleged abuse during exams for decades. The lawsuit claimed Anderson was originally fired in 1979, but that was overruled. he then worked in the Athletic Department.
"Where would be the perfect place to put a sexual predator you don't want to fire and that was the athletic department," said attorney David Shea. "It's very sad because these scholarship kids come from lower to middle class backgrounds and they probably wouldn't have gotten into the University of Michigan and this is their one shot."
Attorneys say Anderson's abuse continued until he retired in 2003. He died in 2008. Another Denver-based law firm is representing at least 50 reported victims.
The victims include athletes, women, and even university employees. They say they haven't filed a lawsuit at the request of their clients who want to remain anonymous and instead are meeting with the university to hold them accountable.
"There are a number of things our clients wish. one of which is for the university to take accountability to prevent this from happening again," said attorney Parker Steiner. "Another thing is one voice should no longer be ignored, until it reaches 100."
Both law firms are concerned with the tip line set up by the university that so far has taken more than 100 complaints. Attorneys say people who call the tip line are then getting calls from lawyers hired by the university.
"It is a filtering device to get victims away from people like us and to lawyers who are labeled independent but who ultimately are hired by the University of Michigan to investigate this," said Shea
A statement from the university says in part: "The university has agreed to provide the public a full accounting of the harms caused to former patients by Anderson as well as any institutional failings that allowed him to keep practicing. we promise to fully respect the privacy and confidentiality of witnesses as we do this."
And now attorneys have a message for other possible victims who haven’t come forward yet
"It's empowering to come forward. You can't confront Dr. Anderson," Cox said. "But you can confront the entity the institution the faceless bureaucrats who foisted him on you."
Attorneys are also now calling for the state attorney general to investigate.