The University of Michigan in the United States has agreed to a $490m settlement with more than 1,000 people who say they were sexually assaulted by a former sports doctor during his nearly four-decade career at the school, the university and those involved in the settlement announced.
The university said on Wednesday that 1,050 people will share in the settlement, which was reached through mediation.
Individuals and their lawyers will determine how to split $460m, with no input from the university, the school said in a statement. An additional $30m will be set aside for future claims.
“We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors,” said Jordan Acker, chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. “At the same time, the work that began two years ago, when the first brave survivors came forward, will continue.”
Lawyer Parker Stinar said the settlement was reached the night before. The university had been in mediation to resolve multiple lawsuits by mostly men who said Dr Robert Anderson sexually abused them during routine medical examinations.
Anderson worked at the university from 1966 until his 2003 retirement and was director of the university’s Health Service and a physician for multiple athletic teams, including football. A number of football players and other athletes have come forward to accuse Anderson, who died in 2008, of sexually abusing them.
A report by a firm hired by the school determined that staff missed many opportunities to stop Anderson across his 37-year career.
The university regularly is ranked among the top public universities in the US.