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A state judge dismissed a portion of the civil lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan, the Board of Regents and former U-M lecturer Bruce Conforth on Friday.
“This is a final order that resolves the last pending claim and closes the case,” Cameron wrote.
The now-dismissed suit was filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals in Marchand alleged that the University was liable for Conforth’s abuse because it failed to protect students from a predatory professor.
Cameron’s opinion followed a summary disposition hearing held on a motion by the defendants on Oct. 26.
A suit filed by the plaintiffs in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court against the University still stands. In June, Judge Timothy Connors of the 22nd Circuit Court denied the defendants’ motion for summary disposition.
Survivor and plaintiff Isabelle Brourman spoke with The Michigan Daily following the verdict and said the University is continuing its pattern of silencing survivors despite claiming it was making efforts to prevent sexual abuse.
“The University is still silencing victims of sexual assault,” Brourman said. “We’re being made to do all the work. And we’re being told that what happened to us and that what we live with every day isn’t enough for them to make a real change. It’s a shame.”
Daniel Barnett, the plaintiffs’ attorney, plans to appeal the decision, The Detroit News reported.
Brourman said though she was disheartened by the decision, she will not stop fighting for justice on the legal front for herself and other survivors.
“We’ve been working really hard to try to change policies for current students, and we’re gonna continue to try to extend that dialogue to the University,” Brourman said. “We’re also still fighting for our case in Washtenaw, and we’re gonna continue to fight for our case at the Court of Appeals. We’re not letting up in either of those courts.”
University spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen wrote in an email to The Daily that the University had no additional comment on the ruling.
“We believe the dismissal speaks for itself and have nothing to add beyond what is outlined there,” Broekhuizen wrote.
Daily Staff Reporter Irena Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.