Case: Graham v. University of Michigan

2:21-cv-11168 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: May 20, 2021

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case challenging the University of Michigan’s sexual assault policies. On May 20, 2021, a current University of Michigan student filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiff sued the University of Michigan (U of M) and the Regents of the University of Michigan under Title IX (20 U.S.C. § 1681). Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought certification of a proposed class of “All current U of M students” and an …

This is a case challenging the University of Michigan’s sexual assault policies. On May 20, 2021, a current University of Michigan student filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiff sued the University of Michigan (U of M) and the Regents of the University of Michigan under Title IX (20 U.S.C. § 1681). Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought certification of a proposed class of “All current U of M students” and an order requiring U of M to implement and enforce best-practice policies and procedures to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus, in addition to costs and attorneys’ fees. The plaintiff claimed that U of M allowed and enabled Dr. Robert E. Anderson to sexually assault students from 1966 until 2003, ignored multiple complaints regarding Dr. Anderson’s behavior, and failed to enact policies and procedures that would have prevented the assault from occurring. 

The case was originally assigned to Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti. He recused himself and the case was then reassigned to Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III and Magistrate Judge Curtis Ivy, Jr. Finally, the case was reassigned to Judge Victoria A. Roberts and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford because it was a companion case to Doe v. The University of Michigan (2:20-cv-10580). Doe v. The University of Michigan was a class-action suit filed on March 9, 2020, by survivors of Dr. Anderson’s abuse who sought monetary and equitable relief under Title IX. The parties in that case stipulated to a stay of discovery and the appointment of a mediator, Robert F. Riley. On September 30, 2020, U of M moved to dismiss the case, arguing that former U of M students lacked standing to seek equitable relief. On October 2, 2020, Judge Roberts ordered that U of M withdraw its motion without prejudice and submit the legal issues to Mr. Riley for mediation. A settlement agreement in Doe v. The University of Michigan was pending as of April 22, 2022.  

In this case, the defendant moved to dismiss on June 4, 2021, alleging that the plaintiff failed to state a claim under Title IX, that the claims were barred by legislative and sovereign immunity, that U of M was an improper party, and that the plaintiff lacked standing to seek equitable relief without alleging she suffered sexual violence.  

Before that motion was decided, on March 24, 2022, Judge Roberts preliminarily approved a joint settlement agreement submitted by the parties. See The Detroit News. The settlement proposed the creation of a Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) composed of local community and campus stakeholders. The CCRT’s aim would be to provide a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to assessing, planning, recommending, monitoring, and evaluating policies, procedures, and practices and to develop university-wide education, prevention, and response reforms to the problem of campus sexual assault. The agreement would last for 5 years. The parties also agreed that class members would not release any monetary claims and proposed a plan to provide notice to all settlement class members. The plaintiff requested that the court provisionally certify the class for purposes of the settlement. 

The court set a final approval hearing on the settlement agreement for July 2022. 

Summary Authors

Laura Irei (5/2/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/59921849/parties/graham-v-university-of-michigan/

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

2:21-cv-11168

Class Action Complaint

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

Complaint
27

2:21-cv-11168

Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief
27-2

2:21-cv-11168

Exhibit A - Settlement Agreement

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/59921849/graham-v-university-of-michigan/

Last updated May 26, 2022, 4:25 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by Josephine Graham against All Defendants with Jury Demand. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: AMIEDC-8470719 - Fee: $ 402. County of 1st Plaintiff: Washtenaw County - County Where Action Arose: Washtenaw County - County of 1st Defendant: Washtenaw County. [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): None] (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A- WilmerHale, Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Robert E. Anderson (May 11, 2021), # 3 Exhibit B- WilmerHale, Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Martin A. Philbert (July 31, 2020), # 4 Exhibit C- Past Students Say Professor of Rock n Roll Sexually Harassed Them, N.Y. TIMES, # 5 Exhibit D- What Happened After a U of M Music Professor was Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges, NPR, # 6 Exhibit E- Alum Says He Told UM Of Doctor's Sex Abuse In '68 But Never Got A Response, THE DETROIT NEWS, # 7 Exhibit F- Former U-M Wrestler: I blew whistle on U-M doctor in 1975, was dismissed from team, DETROIT FREE PRESS, # 8 Exhibit G- Fmr. U-M coach doesnt recall letter warning of Dr. Robert Andersons abuse, WXYZ, # 9 Exhibit H- UM Official Fired Doctor Accused Of Sex Abuse, But He Stayed On Another 24 Years, THE DETROIT NEWS, # 10 Exhibit I- Affidavit for Search Warrant by Detective Ryan A. Cavanaugh, dated November 15, 2018, # 11 Exhibit J- Officer Narrative Dated November 9, 2018, UM Division of Public Safety & Security, # 12 Exhibit K- Excerpts from Presidents Report of The University of Michigan, Vol. III, (19791980), # 13 Exhibit L- 2019 Association of American Universities National Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct, University of Michigan Table of Results) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

1 Index of Exhibits

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2 Exhibit A- WilmerHale, Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexua

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3 Exhibit B- WilmerHale, Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexua

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4 Exhibit C- Past Students Say Professor of Rock n Roll Sexually Harassed Them, N.

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5 Exhibit D- What Happened After a U of M Music Professor was Arrested on Sex Abus

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6 Exhibit E- Alum Says He Told UM Of Doctor's Sex Abuse In '68 But Never

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7 Exhibit F- Former U-M Wrestler: I blew whistle on U-M doctor in 1975, was dismis

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8 Exhibit G- Fmr. U-M coach doesnt recall letter warning of Dr. Robert Andersons a

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9 Exhibit H- UM Official Fired Doctor Accused Of Sex Abuse, But He Stayed On Anoth

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10 Exhibit I- Affidavit for Search Warrant by Detective Ryan A. Cavanaugh, dated No

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11 Exhibit J- Officer Narrative Dated November 9, 2018, UM Division of Public Safet

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12 Exhibit K- Excerpts from Presidents Report of The University of Michigan, Vol. I

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13 Exhibit L- 2019 Association of American Universities National Campus Climate Sur

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May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

Clearinghouse
2

SUMMONS Issued for *The Regents Of The University Of Michigan* (NAhm) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

PACER
3

SUMMONS Issued for *University of Michigan* (NAhm) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

PACER
4

ORDER OF RECUSAL AND REASSIGNING CASE from Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti to Magistrate Judge Curtis Ivy, Jr. (NAhm) (Entered: 05/24/2021)

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

RECAP
5

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE from District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III and Magistrate Judge Curtis Ivy, Jr to District Judge Victoria A. Roberts and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford. (NAhm) (Entered: 05/24/2021)

May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

RECAP
6

NOTICE of Appearance by Stephen Joseph Cowen on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Cowen, Stephen) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
7

MOTION to Dismiss by The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Cowen, Stephen) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
8

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed. The Regents Of The University Of Michigan waiver sent on 6/3/2021, answer due 8/2/2021. (Miller, E.) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
9

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed. University of Michigan waiver sent on 6/3/2021, answer due 8/2/2021. (Miller, E.) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Jack Williams, Jr on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Williams, Jack) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
11

NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew E. Papez on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Papez, Matthew) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
12

NOTICE of Appearance by Amanda K. Rice on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Rice, Amanda) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
13

NOTICE of Appearance by Jennifer Leigh Weizenecker on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Weizenecker, Jennifer) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by Andrew John Clopton on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Clopton, Andrew) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by Louis P. Gabel on behalf of The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, University of Michigan. (Gabel, Louis) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

PACER
16

STIPULATION AND ORDER Extending Briefing Schedule as to 7 MOTION to Dismiss: Response due by 7/26/2021, Reply due by 8/16/2021. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer) (Entered: 06/21/2021)

June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

RECAP
17

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Jonathan D. Selbin appearing on behalf of Josephine Graham (Selbin, Jonathan) (Entered: 06/23/2021)

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

PACER
18

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Annika K. Martin appearing on behalf of Josephine Graham (Martin, Annika) (Entered: 06/23/2021)

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

PACER
19

RESPONSE to 7 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Josephine Graham. (Martin, Annika) (Entered: 07/26/2021)

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

PACER
20

NOTICE of Appearance by Sharon S. Almonrode on behalf of All Plaintiffs. (Almonrode, Sharon) (Entered: 07/27/2021)

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

PACER
21

NOTICE of Appearance by Joseph G. Sauder on behalf of All Plaintiffs. (Sauder, Joseph) (Entered: 07/27/2021)

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

PACER
22

NOTICE of Appearance by William Kalas on behalf of All Plaintiffs. (Kalas, William) (Entered: 07/27/2021)

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

PACER
23

STIPULATED ORDER for Extension of Page Limits for Motion to Dismiss Briefing. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer) (Entered: 08/04/2021)

Aug. 4, 2021

Aug. 4, 2021

PACER
24

REPLY to Response re 7 MOTION to Dismiss filed by All Defendants. (Cowen, Stephen) (Entered: 08/16/2021)

Aug. 16, 2021

Aug. 16, 2021

PACER

Set Deadlines as to 7 MOTION to Dismiss. Motion Hearing set for 12/9/2021 at 2:30 PM before District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer)

Sept. 24, 2021

Sept. 24, 2021

PACER
25

STIPULATION AND ORDER Adjourning Oral Argument regarding 7 MOTION to Dismiss : Motion Hearing set for 1/24/2022 at 10:00 AM before District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (adjourned from 12/9/2021) Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer) (Entered: 11/16/2021)

Nov. 16, 2021

Nov. 16, 2021

PACER
26

STIPULATION AND ORDER Adjourning Oral Argument on 7 MOTION to Dismiss: Motion Hearing set for 3/2/2022 at 3:00 PM before District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer) (Entered: 01/07/2022)

Jan. 7, 2022

Jan. 7, 2022

PACER

TEXT-ONLY ORDER: Motion hearing set for 3/2/2022 is CANCELLED. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer)

Feb. 25, 2022

Feb. 25, 2022

PACER

Terminate Deadlines and Hearings AND Text-Only Order

Feb. 25, 2022

Feb. 25, 2022

PACER
27

MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A - Settlement Agreement, # 3 Exhibit B - Proposed Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

1 Index of Exhibits

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2 Exhibit A - Settlement Agreement

View on RECAP

3 Exhibit B - Proposed Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlem

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March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Clearinghouse
28

DECLARATION by Jonathan D. Selbin re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A - Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Firm Resume, # 3 Exhibit B - Alum Says He Told UM Of Doctor's Sex Abuse In '68 But Never Got A Response, THE DETROIT NEWS, # 4 Exhibit C - WilmerHale, Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Robert E. Anderson (May 11, 2021), # 5 Exhibit D - WilmerHale, Report of Independent Investigation: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Martin A. Philbert (July 31, 2020), # 6 Exhibit E - Dr. Charol Shakeshaft Curriculum Vitae, # 7 Exhibit F - Sara Darehshori Curriculum Vitae, # 8 Exhibit G - Dr. Jennifer Joy Freyd Curriculum Vitae) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
29

DECLARATION by E. Powell Miller re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - The Miller Law Firm, P.C. Resume) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
30

DECLARATION by Joseph G. Sauder re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Sauder Schelkopf Resume) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
31

DECLARATION by Jennifer M. Keough re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A - Jennifer M. Keough Resume, # 3 Exhibit B - Class Notice, # 4 Exhibit C - Postcard Notice, # 5 Exhibit D - Email Notice, # 6 Exhibit E - Exemplar Digital Advertisements) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
32

DECLARATION by Josephine Graham re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
33

DECLARATION by Nancy Chi Cantalupo re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A - Nancy Chi Cantalupo Curriculum Vitae, # 3 Exhibit B - Recommendations for Improving Campus Student Conduct Processes for Gender-Based Violence) (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
34

DECLARATION by Robert F. Riley re 27 MOTION Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement filed by Josephine Graham (Miller, E.) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
35

STIPULATED ORDER for Extension of Page Limit. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

PACER
36

ORDER Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement. Final Approval Hearing set for 7/26/2022 at 2:00 PM before District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (see image for details and dates) (LVer) (Entered: 03/29/2022)

March 29, 2022

March 29, 2022

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Education

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 20, 2021

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Current U of M student on behalf of all current U of M students

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Pending

Defendants

The Regents of the University of Michigan (Washtenaw), State

Defendant Type(s):

College/University

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2022 - 2027

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Failure to discipline

Failure to supervise

School/University policies

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff