(CBS DETROIT) – After almost two years attorneys representing over 1,050 sexual abuse claimants reached a settlement with the University of Michigan in the tune of $490 million.

The claims were made against the late Dr. Robert Anderson, who worked in sports medicine with the university from 1966 to 2003.

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“This settlement is the largest known academic institution settlement where such a large percentage of the survivors were men and such a large percentage of the survivors were black men,” said Attorney Parker Stinar of Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo and Sloane, LLP.

Stinar represents over 200 survivors in the case.

He says reports of abuse were ignored for almost four decades.

Unfortunately, I think it’s one of those situations where individuals in power a lot of times protect their brand, their image financially,” Stinar said.

“They benefit from not having a scandal on their hands. Not having to address something at a certain time.”

University administrators released a statement to CW50 stating 98 percent of claimants approved the settlement.

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Current plaintiffs will divide $460 million, while $30 million will be reserved for future claimants through July 31, 2023.

For 37 years, they provided Anderson unfettered access to a young vulnerable population of men or even women as well,” Stinar said.

“Unfortunately, that’s what amounted to over 1,000 survivors coming forward.”

“This agreement is a critical step among many the university has taken to improve support for survivors and more effectively prevent and address misconduct,” said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman.

Claimants and their attorneys are responsible for deciding how to disburse the funds.

 

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