University Of Michigan Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

University Of Michigan Dr. Robert Anderson Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Lawsuits allege that the University of Michigan employed Dr. Robert Anderson from 1968 until 2003 despite being warned numerous times as early as 1968 that he was sexually abusing patients.

You may be entitled to financial compensation if you were sexually abused by Dr. Robert Anderson while he was employed by the University of Michigan. Call us now at (800) 718-4658 for a free, confidential consultation. We will not charge a fee for our representation unless we obtain financial compensation for you. You can also fill out the form on the right, email us at or engage with our live chat.

Dr. Robert Anderson Sexual Abuse Claims

Lawsuits allege that the University of Michigan was warned multiple times that Dr. Anderson was sexually abusing patients:


A student filed a written complaint with the UM health service, stating Anderson dropped his pants, asking him to fondle his genitals during an exam. The student also said Anderson had the student drop his pants, then fondled the student’s penis and genitals.

“Back then you did not question a doctor’s authority…He asked me to pull on his penis,” the student stated.

“On information and belief, UM never acted on and/or investigated Bailey’s complaint against Anderson,” a lawsuit claims.


UM’s then head wrestling coach Bill Johannesen admitted that his wrestlers had to “drop their drawers” whenever they went to Anderson, even if their elbow was injured.

A wrestler sent Johannesen a 10-page letter warning about Anderson, complaining that “regardless of what you are there for, he insists that you ‘drop your drawers and cough.’”

A lawsuit alleges that, instead of investigating the complaint, Johannesen kicked the wrestler off the team and revoked his scholarship. The wrestler appealed to athletic director Don Canham, who failed to investigate the complaint and upheld the coach’s decision.


A graduate student complained that Anderson “gave undue attention to my genitals and rectal area. It was very physically and socially uncomfortable…he inserted his finger into my rectum for a period that was longer than any other hernia or rectal evaluation.” A lawsuit alleges no investigation was done regarding the complaint.

A local UM activist reported to then Vice President of Student Life Tom Easthope that Anderson had assaulted multiple gay men at UM, and was “fooling around with boys in the exam room.”

Easthope confronted Anderson about it and Anderson didn’t deny it. UM then “demoted” Anderson in 1980, moving him to the athletic department instead of terminating him, according to a lawsuit.


A man reported to the State of Michigan that Anderson fondled his genitals to ejaculation in 1973. A lawsuit claims the state would have typically contacted UM as Anderson’s employer “in the ordinary course of a reported sexual assault by a regulated professional,” yet UM continued employing Anderson until he voluntarily retired in 2003.

How To Make A University Of Michigan Sexual Abuse Claim

There are many potential causes of action we might be able to obtain damages for in a lawsuit, including:


Negligence is the failure to be reasonably careful in order to prevent harm from occurring. Acting and failing to act can both be negligent, as one should do what a reasonably careful entity would and one shouldn’t do what a reasonably careful entity wouldn’t.

A reasonably careful entity would not fail to investigate reports of one of its doctors sexually abusing patients. A reasonably careful entity would not continue to employ a doctor after becoming aware of his abuse, confronting him about it and not receiving a denial in response.

Gross Negligence

Gross negligence is a failure to be reasonably careful which is so abhorrent that it looks like a conscious violation of others’ rights to safety.

If allegations that UM confronted Anderson about abuse reports, received no denial in response and continued to employ him anyways are true, this would constitute a conscious violation of others’ rights to safety.

Negligent Supervision

Negligent supervision is established in a lawsuit when it is proven that an employer knew an employee was unfit for their work, this unfitness placed others at risk, this unfitness harmed someone and the employer’s negligence substantially caused the harm.

Failing to deny reports of sexual abuse disqualifies doctors as fit for work.

Negligent Failure To Warn Or Protect

Schools have a duty of care to warn or protect against the risk of sexual assault at the hands of their doctors. Failing to investigate sexual abuse reports, and failing to terminate a doctor after he failed to deny sexual abuse allegations, would be examples of failing to warn or protect against the risk of sexual assault at the hands of a doctor.

Negligent Failure To Train Or Educate

Lawsuits allege UM negligently failed to train or educate Anderson’s victims about how to avoid the risk of sexual assault, prevent sexual assault, or report or prevent unwanted touching from authority figures. UM also allegedly failed to train or educate coaches and trainers to be aware of improper touching.

Negligent Retention

Negligent retention is when employers fail to fire an employee they knew or should have known was unfit for their job and that this unfitness placed others at risk. If it is true that UM received multiple warnings about Dr. Anderson’s abuse yet failed to ever fire him for it, then UM appears to have negligently retained Dr. Anderson.

Violation Of Title IX, 20 U.S.C. §1681(A), Et Seq.

This law states that “No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be… subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

Lawsuits allege that, since Anderson only abused young men, this abuse constituted sex-based harassment of young male students, as did the university’s failure to promptly and appropriately investigate, remedy and respond to the sexual abuse.

Violations Of 42 U.S.C. § 1983

This law states that anyone who injured another by depriving them of their constitutional rights is liable for those injuries.

Lawsuits allege UM deprived Anderson’s victims of life, liberty or property without due process of law, in violation of the 14th amendment, by deliberately exposing Anderson’s victims to him, knowing he could and would abuse them.

Lawsuits also claim the 14th amendment includes “an implied right to bodily integrity,” and that UM’s conduct violated this right.

Lawsuits also claim that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 mandates that UM properly train and supervise their employees, agents and/or representatives, and failed to do so in the case of the Anderson.

Violation Of M.C.L. § 37.2201

This law essentially bans sex discrimination in Michigan. Lawsuits allege that UM discriminated against Anderson’s victims based on sex by giving Anderson access to them since Anderson only abused men.

Violation Of Michigan Article 1, § 17

Michigan Article 1, § 17 states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Lawsuits claim this “liberty” includes the right to bodily integrity, which UM violated by continuing to employ Anderson.

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is “indirect responsibility imposed by operation of law where an employer is bound to keep its employees within their proper bounds and is responsible if it fails to do so,” according to a lawsuit.

Negligent And Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress

Lawsuits contend UM’s behavior constituted negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress because UM knew or should have known its decision to continue to employ Anderson would lead to students being abused and suffering from emotional distress as a result.

Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Lawsuits allege UM committed fraudulent misrepresentation when they represented to the public that Anderson was a competent and safe physician by continuing to employ him despite his refusal to deny sexual abuse accusations.

Sexual Abuse Lawyers Handling University Of Michigan Claims

Our attorneys can obtain damages for medical expenses, mental anguish, loss of earnings, anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of social pleasure and enjoyment, violation of constitutional, state and federal rights and more in a sexual abuse lawsuit.

We are the sexual abuse experts, having handled sexual abuse cases since 1990. Call us now at (800) 718-4658 for a free, confidential consultation. Our services are free unless we obtain a recovery for you.