November 1, 2022
By Justin O’Beirne
Welcome back to The University Insider.
This week, a portion of the lawsuit against former University professor Bruce Conforth was dismissed, former President Barack Obama held a rally in Detroit, Michigan Medicine announced a data breach from August and more.
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The summary disposition for the civil lawsuit against former University of Michigan lecturer Bruce Conforth was held in Detroit on Oct. 26. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, names the University, the Board of Regents and Conforth as defendants. The plaintiffs, who are eight survivors of Conforth’s sexual assault, allege that the University is liable for the abuse.
Judge Thomas Cameron dismissed a portion of the lawsuit on Friday, saying the plaintiffs did not file notices in time to sue the University, the Board of Regents or Bruce Conforth. A portion of the lawsuit, filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court against Conforth, and a state civil rights claim against the University remain intact. Attorney Daniel Barnett – who is representing the plaintiffs – plans to appeal this decision.
Former President Barack Obama rallied for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Michigan Democratic candidates ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. Obama spoke for about an hour, highlighting the importance of voting for Democrats.
“These days, just about every Republican politician seems obsessed with two things: owning the libs… and getting Donald Trump’s approval,” Obama said. “They are not interested in actually solving problems.”
The rally also featured several Michigan Democrats running for re-election, including U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence and Rashida Tlaib, Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
Michigan Medicine announced that the health data of over 30,000 patients was exposed through a phishing scam that transpired over a full week in August. According to a Michigan Medicine press release, four employees entered their information into the faulty webpage, allowing the attackers to access the Michigan Medicine database.
The breach included identifiable patient information, including name, date of birth and address. The specific information taken varied from patient to patient, but none of the data included credit card, debit card or bank account information.
Once Michigan Medicine became aware of the breach, all subject accounts were disabled, and passwords were changed.
Physician numbers per 10,000 in the United States average at some of the lowest in the developed world at 26.1 physicians, while most European nations average around 40 physicians. Opinion Columnist Maximilian Schenke talks about how the low ratio of physicians to patients contributes to the U.S. being ranked significantly lower in health standards than many similarly developed nations. Working conditions for physicians have deteriorated even further since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though having more doctors wouldn’t fix all problems associated with the U.S. healthcare system, Schenke argues it would help alleviate many issues.
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