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)

University of Michigan hires new law firm in abuse inquiry

March 24, 2020 - 7:40 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has hired a new law firm to lead the investigation into allegations that a deceased team doctor molested hundreds of people.

The school said Tuesday that WilmerHale has replaced Steptoe & Johnson, which it cut ties with two weeks ago after learning some of the firm's attorneys represented high-profile clients accused of sexual misconduct.

The university announced more than a month ago it was investigation allegations of abuse against the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson.

Numerous men have come forward publicly and anonymously as John Does in lawsuits to allege that Anderson molested them during medical exams. Anderson had a decades-long career as a physician for Michigan's athletic teams and at the university’s health service. He died in 2008.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said more than 150 people have called a hotline to report complaints regarding Anderson.

The revelations at Michigan echo other high-profile allegations and investigations of sexual abuse made by patients of sports doctors at other universities, including Michigan State,Ohio State and Minnesota.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents will have a virtual meeting on Thursday, following the state's directive to maintain social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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