Dr. Robert Anderson worked for the University of Michigan from 1966 until 2003. During that time, he sexually abused hundreds of students and student-athletes while he was conducting what was supposed to be routine physicals.
The issue facing these victims is that under Michigan law, certain entities like the University of Michigan and Michigan State University often assert governmental immunity to prevent sexual assault claims from being asserted against them. Additionally, victims are required to bring sexual assault lawsuits within a specific period of time (Statute of Limitations) or their claim can be barred.
While the University of Michigan is not denying what happened, these statutes act as procedural barriers that result in hundreds of victims of Dr. Anderson having little to no legal recourse.
Potential for New Legislation
However, the Michigan legislature is now considering legislation that could create a 30-day window for Anderson survivors to sue UM outside the statute of limitations and remove the ability of the University to assert immunity as a defense in these cases.
This legislation is similar to laws enacted in 2018 by the Michigan legislature to temporarily lift the statute of limitations barriers for victims of Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar. Under that law, Nassar survivors were given a 90-day window to file lawsuits, despite the statute of limitations having already expired. The bill being considered for Dr. Anderson survivors would create a 30-day window for claims to be filed.
We are hopeful that the bill receives bipartisan support and provides a path to justice for these victims.
Our Law Firm Can Help
Our office represents victims of sexual assault. If you were a victim of sexual assault or misconduct, we know that it can be very hard to come forward and talk about it. However, given that there are certain laws that can bar your claim if it is not filed timely, we encourage you to reach out and contact our office today for a free confidential consultation with our dedicated and compassionate lawyers to see how we can help you.