Law firms take varying approaches to holding UM accountable in doctor abuse cases

ANN ARBOR, MI — Attorneys from across the country have filed lawsuits against the University of Michigan on behalf of clients who say they were abused by late athletic doctor Robert Anderson, but some law firms that haven’t yet taken legal action are trying to find other avenues of justice for their clients.

Anderson was a doctor at the University of Michigan from 1968 to 2003. He served as the director of health services until 1980, when he was moved to the athletic department. Anderson died in 2008.

Ten years later, former UM wrestler Tad Deluca wrote a letter to Athletic Director Warde Manuel, detailing abuse he says he endured at the hands of Anderson. A police investigation followed and UM opened a hotline Feb. 19 for abuse victims to report their experiences. The university has since received at least 229 unique complaints against Anderson.

Dozens of former UM students have reported instances of genital fondling and anal penetration during unnecessary hernia and prostate exams. Some report more overt sexual acts.

With scores of victims coming forward to report abuse, a plethora of law firms have begun taking action against the university. Each firm has taken a different path to seeking justice for their clients. Some have met with UM and its lawyers, some have demanded responses from the university and for Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate, and others have filed lawsuits, including individual and class-action complaints, against UM and its Board of Regents.

Here’s what those firms are doing and how they’re approaching cases for their clients.

Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo and Sloane — Denver, Colorado Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo and Sloane, is representing more than 60 clients who say they were abused by Anderson. Attorney Parker Stinar said most of the clients are men, but the firm is also representing a few women who said they were abused. Some of those clients include former members of the UM baseball, swimming, track and field and wrestling teams, as well as a former NHL hockey player, a memb...

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