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Abuse victims perceive inequity in payments at 2 Michigan schools

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By Corey Williams and Mike Householder | Related press

Two former University of Michigan football stars who could receive up to $500,000 each through their school’s sex abuse settlement with more than 1,000 students say the payouts per victim would be higher many, pointing to a similar case in rival Michigan State.

Dwight Hicks and Jon Vaughn, both former NFL players, told The Associated Press that the $490 million payout Ann Arbor School announced this week is another example of black victims receiving less than victims of crime. white people in large expenditures. John Manly, an attorney involved in the case, said the majority of claimants in the settlement were black.

Although victims of former school sports doctor Robert Anderson are expected to receive between $400,000 and $500,000, the victim of Larry Nassar, the gymnast’s sexual assaulter at State University, is expected to receive between $400,000 and $500,000. Michigan – received an average of $1.2 million.

“The difference: One, they are women. Two, they’re white,” said Hicks, 65, who attended Michigan from 1974-1978 and spent eight seasons in the NFL with Indianapolis and San Francisco.

Given the fact that there was a smaller group of victims, around 300, in the State of Michigan’s $500 million settlement in 2018, he said, “I don’t feel we should get less. This is the damage done to us and to us as Negroes. ”

“At the end of the day, none of this is fair,” Vaughn told The Associated Press on Friday.

A 2018 report said insurers and courts based on the testimony of economists calculate losses using payroll, and that data is often based on race, ethnicity and gender. of the petitioner, according to the Committee on Civil Rights Under the Law.

Blacks, Latinos and Hispanics and women of all races generally earn less than white men, meaning the damages awarded are often less than what white men would receive, the newspaper said. report said.

Attorney Jamie White said the law firms involved in the Anderson case did not share the racism of their clients, who added that about 93% of Anderson’s 78 clients his firm The representative is black.

Anderson, in his role as the university’s director of Health Services and as a doctor for football and other sports teams, has been accused of sexually abusing them by alumni and student-athletes. routine health exams or other visits. A law firm hired by the school said the abuse occurred during Anderson’s 37-year career at the university, a law firm hired by the school said in a report released last spring.

Anderson retired in 2003. He died in 2008.

Nassar, who also served as a sports doctor for USA Gymnastics, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing women and girls in 2018 under the guise of treatment. He was also arrested with child pornography. He is serving a three-term prison sentence that will likely be locked up for life.

None of the original 332 individuals his firm represented in the Nassar case were Black, White said, adding that all were white and only one was a man.

“It’s not unheard of for men to get a discount, so to speak, when it comes to these cases,” he said. “We have to appreciate that the University of Michigan is going forward and doing what they did. There have been a lot of people claiming. The numbers are hard, but on the face of it it is what it is. We had $1.2 million for young, white women, and we had an average of $460,000 for most of these African-American men. ”

Vaughn, 51, lives in Texas, but has spent time since October at a campsite outside the home of the University of Michigan president as a way of protesting the school’s handling of the Anderson case. He said he had his prostate checked by Anderson 50 times during his two years at the University of Michigan.

“There are countless reasons or facts in this case that are different from Nassar,” he said. “I never should have had my first prostate exam when I was 18 and I shouldn’t have had another 49.”

What each person will get in the settlement is not the main reason they speak out about Anderson, White added.

“They were older and many of them did an excellent job,” he said. “This is not a matter of money for the vast majority of them. They really just feel they need to speak up and have some responsibility. ”

But — as student athletes — they’re younger and more at risk, White said.

“They were there to practice. They are there to go to school and they have a lot to lose,” White said. “They were there and one of their jobs was to play ball, and if they strayed from that path in any way, shape or form they were (believe them) disposable.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/01/23/abuse-victims-see-inequity-in-payouts-at-2-michigan-schools-64/ Abuse victims perceive inequity in payments at 2 Michigan schools

Huynh Nguyen

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