Ex-Michigan football player suing school over alleged abuse

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan shows Dr. Robert E. Anderson. A University of Michigan hotline has received more than 100 unique complaints about Dr. Anderson, a late physician accused of sexual abuse by former patients, including athletes who encountered him as a team doctor, the school announced Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. He died in 2008. (Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP)
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan shows Dr. Robert E. Anderson. A University of Michigan hotline has received more than 100 unique complaints about Dr. Anderson, a late physician accused of sexual abuse by former patients, including athletes who encountered him as a team doctor, the school announced Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. He died in 2008. (Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A man who played football at the University of Michigan sued the school and its board of regents on Monday, alleging the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson sexually abused him.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit is seeking certification to be class action and aims to include anyone else who says they were molested by the school doctor. The plaintiff, identified as John Doe, accuses the university of failing to remove the doctor despite complaints about him dating back decades.

Doe, a resident of New York, said he was on an academic scholarship from 1989 to 1993 and played football for the Wolverines. The late Bo Schembechler was Michigan's coach for a final season in 1989 and was succeeded by Gary Moeller, who led college football's winningest program from 1990 to 1994.

The lawsuit is the latest in a long line of filings facing the university for the way it handled allegations Anderson sexually abused patients from the 1960s until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2008.

“Again, we share the same goal of gathering all the facts, including understanding the full scope of the harm caused by Dr. Robert E. Anderson and the institutional failings of the university,” school spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen said by email Monday in response to the lawsuit

The university has acknowledged some campus employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation. The school announced nearly three weeks ago the previous investigation had been conducted, saying it made the information public following a determination the previous day by the county prosecutor’s office that no criminal charges would be authorized because Anderson is deceased.

The school has received more than 100 complaints about Anderson on a hotline for people who have information to come forward.

Two-plus weeks after hiring Steptoe & Johnson to investigate allegations against Anderson, the school said it will find another law firm after learning that some of its attorneys represented high-profile clients accused of sexual misconduct.