USC Agrees to Pay $215 Million in Gynecologist Sex-Abuse Scandal
The University of Southern California announced on Friday that it has agreed to pay $215 million to former patients of Dr. George Tyndall. The proposed settlement would bring a close to a federal class-action lawsuit brought against USC by women who accused the former campus gynecologist of sexual abuse and misconduct.
USC’s settlement is among the largest settlements ever for a university over a sexual misconduct claim. It will provide $2,500 to any USC student treated by Tyndall. The university’s president, Dr. Wanda Austin, wanted to include all women treated by the doctor in the settlement. She intends for those too intimidated to file a police report or lawsuit to receive just compensation.
In addition, it will be available to both those who do and do not claim he abused them. Further, it will provide up to $250,000 to those who allege they were abused by him. A university lawyer said as many as 17,000 students and alumnae are eligible to receive a portion of the settlement.
The settlement was reached in a class action in U.S. District and applies only to the federal class-action lawsuit. It does not automatically resolve more than 400 other patient suits playing out in Los Angeles Superior Court. Lawyers in these cases say the proposed settlement is “paltry and premature.” In addition, the lawyers say that the settlement does not allow for a full accounting of USC’s handling of Tyndall.
U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson must sign off on the deal for it to take effect. The money would come from the university’s insurers and “capital reserves.”
In May, several women came forward with stories of the Tyndall’s predatory behavior and the university’s failure to act. There is evidence that employees at USC received serious warnings about him beginning early in his career.
Still, USC allowed the doctor to practice in the student health center for 27 years despite numerous complaints.
Allegations against Tyndall range from asking inappropriate questions about a patient’s sexual encounters to sexually assaulting patients under the guise of medical care. In fact, his behavior earned him a negative reputation in the dorms and sorority houses early on in his career at the university.
The university anticipates that this settlement offer will attract several women who have yet to or have not filed lawsuits.
Where is George Tyndall Now?
Tyndall denies any wrongdoing. In fact, his attorney said that his client “continues to maintain that he engaged in no criminal conduct and that his medical examinations were always within the standard of care.”
An attorney for Tyndall was involved in the USC settlement negotiations, along with law firm representing former patients and USC lawyers.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help Victims of George Tyndall
The Carlson Law Firm has a team of sexual abuse attorneys ready to help victims of sexual medical malpractice. The University of Southern California had decades of complaints against the predatory behavior of George Tyndall. Yet the university still failed to act. While criminal courts hold perpetrators accountable to the state, you can hold your abusers and those who allowed your abuse to occur accountable through civil litigation.
Civil courts do not need to prove innocence or guilt in a sexual medical malpractice lawsuit. Instead, a civil court determines the liability of an offender. Further, a civil court can determine the liability of a third party in the crime. Civil court finding liability usually results in an offender or negligible third-party paying a survivor monetary damages. Sexual assault survivors can carry significant burdens, however, by filing a civil lawsuit, you may be able to receive the compensation you deserve to begin rebuilding your life.
Contact our firm today to speak with a member of our legal team. We can help you navigate the legal obstacles that come along with holding an employee accountable for their harm against you, as well as their employers for failure to properly supervise an employee.
- Written by Kazia Conway