What’s the problem?
The wave of litigation could prove extremely costly to USC, as scores of former patients have recently come forward accusing Tyndall of abuse during his nearly 30-year stint at the university, and claimed that USC failed to take action despite knowledge of the doctor’s behavior.
Among the accusations made against Tyndall:
- One woman claims that Tyndall forced his entire ungloved hand into her vagina during an appointment in 2003, while making "vulgar" remarks about her genitalia;
- Another woman claims he groped her breasts during a 2008 visit, and that he falsely told her she "likely had AIDS;"
- A third woman accused Tyndall of grazing his ungloved fingers over her naked body, and of inappropriately leering at her during what was supposed to be a “skin exam.”
Tyndall has not responded publicly to the latest allegations. In previous interviews with the Los Angeles Times, he defended his medical exams as “thorough” and “appropriate,” adding that frank and honest dialogue about sex lives was part of his interaction with patients.
"I never had any sexual urges" toward patients, Tyndall said in the interview.
Tyndall served as USC’s campus gynecologist until June 2016, when a supervising nurse became frustrated by clinic administrators for not taking her complaints seriously and reported him to the campus rape crisis center. He was placed on paid leave for nearly a year, and banned from the clinic pending an investigation.
USC Sexual Abuse Settlement Gains Final Approval
A putative class of Dr. George Tyndall's alleged sexual assault victims has received final approval of its $215 million settlement with USC, according to Law360. U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson approved the deal after the parties appointed individuals tasked with overseeing the settlement’s provisions.
The settlement will cover around 18,000 alleged victims and patients of Tyndall, and is not contingent on them having officially accused him of abuse. Class members could receive between $2,500 and $250,000 from USC.
Judge OKs $215 Million Settlement for Victims of USC Sexual Abuse
A federal judge in Los Angeles has cleared the way for a massive $215 million class action settlement to resolve allegations of sexual abuse by former USC campus gynecologist Dr. James Tyndall, according to The New York Times . Tyndall is also facing separate criminal charges filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office on behalf of 16 women alleging similar sexual crimes. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.
The $215 million settlement, to be paid in full by USC, will go out to about 18,000 plaintiffs, all former patients of Tyndall's at the university, from a guaranteed minimum of $2,500 to $250,000. The payouts will be given regardless of whether the women formally accused Tyndall of any wrongdoing.
In a statement, USC said it was pleased with the decision, calling it a settlement that “provides respectful and confidential relief to Tyndall patients at the student health center and formalizes a broad array of campus reforms.”
Newsom Signs Law Giving Sexual Assault Victims More Time to Sue
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law that extends the statute of limitations for alleged sexual assault victims of former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall to file claims seeking monetary damages for their injuries.
The current statute for damages resulting from a sexual assault on an adult victim is 10 years from the date of the last actionable conduct, or 3 years from the discovery of the resulting injury, whichever is later. The new law extends the time-frame for lawsuits alleging improper sexual contact or communications by a physician at a student health center between Jan. 1, 1988, and Jan. 1, 2017.
Lawmakers Propose Extending Limitations on Filing Sexual Assault Lawsuits
California lawmakers submitted a bill on Monday that would temporarily lift the statute of limitations (SOL) on lawsuits alleging sexual assault by former USC gynecologist George Tyndall, according to the LA Times . The SOL for damages stemming from a sexual assault that occurred with an adult victim is currently 10 years from the date of the last actionable conduct, or 3 years from the discovery of the resulting injury, whichever is later. The new bill would extend the time-frame for lawsuits alleging improper sexual contact or communications by a physician at a student health center between Jan. 1, 1988, and Jan. 1, 2017.
The legislation was approved unanimously by the Assembly on Monday, and now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom for consideration. If the bill is signed, claims of more than $250,000 could be filed for 1 year starting Jan. 1, 2020. Victims also have the option of joining a $215 million class-action settlement proposed by USC.
Tyndall Surrenders Medical License
Dr. George Tyndall, the former USC gynecologist accused of sexual assault and similar crimes by nearly 400 women, has been formally required to surrender his medical license, according to the LA Times . The announcement follows Tyndall's arrest in June, when he was charged with committing dozens of felonies at the USC clinic where he practiced for nearly 30 years.
“The incidents outlined in the Board’s accusation against George Tyndall are egregious violations,” said Kimberly Kirchmeyer, executive director of the California Medical Board. “On behalf of California consumers, the Board achieved the highest level of patient protection with the surrender of Tyndall’s license.”
Though Tyndall's medical license has been technically suspended since August 2018, the decision officially took effect on Thursday. The former gynecologist chose to give up his license rather than contest a 13-page accusation filed by the Board last September.
Ex USC Gynecologist Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Assault
George Tyndall pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of sexually abusing 16 students during the course of his work as an on-campus gynecologist at USC, according to the LA Times . The disheveled 72-year-old was dressed in a blue suicide prevention vest at the time of his plea, which followed his hospitalization for chest pains.
Tyndall's attorney has fast-tracked the case, refusing to waive a preliminary hearing set for July 12, which means that prosecutors will be forced within days to prove there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial. Defense attorneys have also requested a hearing to review Tyndall's $2.075 million bail.
Tyndall Arrested on 29 Counts of Sexual Abuse
George Tyndall, the former longtime on-campus gynecologist at USC who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 400 women, was arrested Wednesday by the LAPD at his mid-Wilshire apartment, according to KCAL 9 CBS Los Angeles . The 72-year-old was taken into custody on 18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery of force, all of which are felony criminal charges, police said.
The 16 victims ranged in age from 17 to 29-years-old at the time of the alleged crimes, which occurred between 2009 and 2016 when Tyndall worked at the USC campus health center, according to the LA District Attorney's Office. Tyndall was found in possession of a .38 caliber revolver at the time of his arrest, said LAPD Police Chief Michael Moore.
Tyndall is being held on $2.1 million bail, the DA's office said, but it is unclear at this point when his first court hearing will take place.
“USC is awaiting further details on George Tyndall’s arrest,” said USC Interim President Wanda M. Austin. “We have cooperated with the LAPD and District Attorney’s Office investigations since the beginning and will continue to do so. We care deeply about our community and our top priority continues to be the well-being of our students, health center patients and university community. We hope this arrest will be a healing step for former patients and our entire university.”
Tyndall's Victim Recounts Abuse, Shuns Proposed Settlement
Brennan Heil, one of the nearly 500 women accusing Dr. George Tyndall of sexual abuse, was referred to the gynecologist after she was raped on New Year's Eve of her freshman year at USC. It was Heil's first gynecological exam, and she was unsure what to expect. She claims Tyndall made crude comments, touched her inappropriately, molested her, and made her yell in pain. Tyndall's behavior was "so inappropriate and abhorrent that the nurse-chaperone announced that she felt uncomfortable and left the room," leaving Heil half naked and alone on the exam table.
After the incident, Heil says she felt isolated and scared much of the time, unable to control her emotions, which sometimes manifested in the form of panic attacks, something she had never experienced before. It was a problem she had to solve on her own, so she masked her pain in productivity, excelling in several subjects at USC and then studying abroad in London.
Heil says it hurts to know that USC continues to avoid responsibility for the abuse she and hundreds of other women endured. "Tyndall took advantage of his circumstances, which USC tolerated and effectively sanctioned by its inaction," she said.
"My experience at USC with Tyndall has changed the course of my life in unexpected ways," Heil said. "It enabled me to seek proper health care and reorient my life's work toward a career in political communications. I hope to make a difference, through legislation, for all women, victims and survivors."
USC Gynecologist Lawsuit Granted Initial Approval
A Los Angeles judge has given preliminary approval to a $215 million settlement of a federal lawsuit against USC stemming from sexual abuse allegations pending against former staff gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall, according to KCRA 3 . The settlement would create a fund to pay $2,500 to $250,000 to women who say Dr. George Tyndall abused them between 1988 and 2016. It also would mandate reforms, including appointment of a women's health advocate to handle misconduct complaints.
$240 Million Settlement Offer in USC Sexual Assault Litigation Revised After Judge Rejects Deal
Attorneys in the George Tyndall USC sex abuse litigation revised a $240 million settlement offer with the university less than a day after a judge rejected the deal, according to Bloomberg Law.
The judge struck down the original class action settlement offer after flagging several problems with the deal; attorneys wasted no time in correcting the errors, and by Friday had a revised agreement filed.
The revised deal attempted to correct the issues Judge Stephen Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California had with the original draft, namely that it lacked many critical facts.
“Simply put, the court is not a vessel for expediency in the parties’ efforts to reach a class action settlement, and any agreement for which the parties seek approval from the court should be finalized to the maximum extent possible prior to a motion for court approval,” Wilson said in rejecting preliminary approval of the settlement agreement.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have requested a June 3 hearing for preliminary approval of the revised settlement.
Though exact figures are still forthcoming, the USC settlement is estimated to include approximately $25 million in attorney fees and costs, and a $215 million fund that would compensate all of Tyndall’s alleged victims.
30 New Lawsuits Filed Against Tyndall
Dr. George Tyndall has been named as a defendant in 30 new lawsuits, according to Patch . Including the most recent cases, Tyndall has been slammed with more than 200 sexual abuse suits, a tsunami of litigation mostly filed by former patients at USC who claim they were violated during medical exams at the campus health center.
Including the most recent cases, Tyndall has been slammed with more than 200 sexual abuse lawsuits, a tsunami of litigation mostly filed by former patients at USC who claim they were violated during medical exams at the campus health center.
In addition to the complaints of sexual assault, the new suits allege that female students were forced to seek treatment from Tyndall, as he was USC’s only full-time gynecologist at the Engemann Student Health Center, and that the university continued to employ him for decades, despite numerous claims of inappropriate sexual behavior against him.
A 2016 investigation revealed that Tyndall made numerous sexually and racially inappropriate remarks to patients, kept a secret box full of photographs of his patients' genitals, and had documented complaints against him dating back to at least 1988, according to the lawsuits.
Tyndall, 71, denies hurting anyone during the course of his tenure at USC, and said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he was only aware of 1 complaint against him during his 30 years on the job.
USC claims it placed the doctor on administrative leave in 2016 and he never returned to treating students after officials received a complaint from a staff member at the health clinic. The staff member alleged that Tyndall made inappropriate comments to a patient in front of medical assistants.
Police Raid Storage Unit of USC Gynecologist Accused of Sexual Abuse
Among the evidence seized from a storage unit rented by USC’s former campus gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall was a trove of porn and a collection of photographs authorities believe may be of former patients. Authorities were tipped off to the whereabouts of Tyndall’s storage unit after detectives followed him there on several occasions during the course of their investigation into sexual assault allegations.
Authorities were tipped off to the whereabouts of Tyndall’s storage unit after detectives followed him there on several occasions during the course of their investigation into sexual assault allegations.
The evidence most concerning to authorities from the raid on Tyndall was a set of photos of unclothed women in what appeared to be a medical exam room, according to LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes.
“The photographs are compromising,” said Hayes, who is overseeing the investigation.
Hayes went on to say that mere possession of the photographs is not a crime, but that the location they were uncovered may be crucial to the larger case.
USC Survivors Press Conference: Video
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USC Students Say Sexual Abuse Hotline Was A Disappointment
As the wave of allegations against Tyndall grew into a tsunami earlier this summer, USC established a telephone hotline for victims to voice their complaints.
In promoting the hotline on its website, the university said, "We understand how difficult this may be, and we pledge to handle your outreach with compassion and sensitivity."
However, a number of women who called the hotline reported the experience left them feeling a mixture of anger and betrayal. Dozens of callers complained of long waits, a lack of emotional support and few follow-ups (though a few said they did get follow up calls and referrals to counseling).
100's More Lawsuits Filed
USC has been hit with lawsuits from 51 more patients of George Tyndall as board chairman calls for expedited settlements. As more lawsuits pile up against USC for its handling of a campus gynecologist accused of sexually abusing patients, the chair of the university’s board of trustees said he wanted to see the litigation resolved “as quickly as possible.”
USC concealed years of sexual abuse complaints against Tyndall, whose alleged victims include university alumni from multiple decades, according to the lawsuits.
As the litigation piles up against Tyndall and USC, the chair of the university’s board of trustees said he wants to see the litigation resolved “as quickly as possible,” according to the LA Times.
Rick Caruso, civic leader and elected USC board of trustees chairman, said he hoped a settlement could be reached without depositions and trials that would require plaintiffs to publicly recount their experiences with Dr. George Tyndall.
“We are going to be fair, we are going to be dignified and we are going to have a process that does not put them through hardship in coming to a resolution,” Caruso said.
Considering the large number of lawsuits filed against USC filed over Tyndall's alleged indiscretions -- as well as the likelihood of many more cases in the future -- the cost to the university and its insurers could be astronomical. More than 225 students and alumnae are now suing USC for failing to protect them from Tyndall, including 51 women who filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday morning.
Tyndall served as USC’s campus gynecologist until June 2016, when a supervising nurse became frustrated by clinic administrators for not taking her complaints seriously and reported him to the campus rape crisis center. He was placed on paid leave for nearly a year, and banned from the clinic pending an investigation. Tyndall has still not been charged with any crimes.
Tyndall's House, Storage Unit Raided by LAPD
Detectives from the LAPD on Thursday raided a home and storage facility owned by Dr. George Tyndall, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police have been in contact with about 135 women regarding Tyndall, and more than 400 others have called a university hotline since news of the investigation surfaced.
The LAPD has been in contact with approximately 135 women concerning Dr. Tyndall, who worked as USC’s only full-time campus gynecologist for nearly 3 decades. More than 400 people have called a university hotline since news of an investigation published in the LA Times detailed how Tyndall was allowed to remain at his post for most of his tenure, despite having numerous complaints filed against him.
The controversy surrounding Tyndall has embroiled USC staff and led to the ousting of university president C.L. Max Nikias, according to the LA Times.
USC leaders have acknowledged that the reporting system for these types of complaints is in need of streamlining, but denied having any knowledge about those concerning Tyndall prior to last year, according to a letter from Provost Michael Quick.
Tyndall was allowed to resign quietly with a financial payout last summer, and the university did not report him to the Medical Board of California, which investigates misconduct by physicians, until last March. The university has acknowledged that “in hindsight” Tyndall should have been reported much sooner.
The police raid comes as more women continue to allege sexual misconduct by George Tyndall, including dozens who have filed class action lawsuits.
Tyndall has denied any wrongdoing and said he never mistreated his patients. He has not responded publicly to the latest developments.
3 More Former USC Students Sue Over Gynecologist Sexual Harassment
One of the plaintiffs in the new USC sexual harassment lawsuit was a woman who allegedly underwent 2 exams as part of a study with Dr. George Tyndall in 1988. In both exams, she says Tyndall forced her to get naked and made crude comments while violating her physically.
Following the exam, the woman filed a complaint in November 1988 with USC officials, stating that she felt “molested” and “mistreated” during her exams with Tyndall. She claims she got no response to her pleas, and that USC continued to employ him as the campus gynecologist for nearly 30 years.
Another woman named as a plaintiff in the new lawsuit claims that gynecologist Tyndall made her get naked during a so-called “skin exam” in 2013 to check for moles. She says the doctor penetrated her vagina with 2 ungloved fingers, while making sexually inappropriate comments about her anatomy.
The last plaintiff claims she was abused twice by Tyndall, during separate gynecological exams in 2013 and 2016, in which he forced her to get naked unnecessarily to look for “moles,” and made inappropriate references to her body.
According to the lawsuit, none of the alleged victims knew they were violated until news of Tyndall’s escapades became public, having all the while naively maintained the belief they were subjected to standard medical protocol.
The complaint also accuses USC of ignoring and even actively hiding evidence of these crimes for decades, while allowing Tyndall to remain at his post and harm additional victims.
Plaintiffs are seeking financial compensation for sexual abuse, molestation, harassment, discrimination, and civil rights violations.
The lawsuit is — In RE: Jane Doe 11, et al. v. Dr. George Tyndall, et al. — Case No. BC707880.
Class Action Suits Accuse USC of “Deliberately Concealing” Gynecologist’s Sexual Assault
New allegations surface in lawsuits against USC gynecologist accused in multiple counts of sexual abuse / assault. Plaintiffs claim university officials knew of the accusations for decades and took no action, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In addition to claims of sexual assault, the lawsuits against Tyndall contain allegations against university officials, claiming they had knowledge of complaints against the man for years, and did nothing to stop him.
Another young woman who filed suit against Tyndall claims that the doctor “violated” her while her female chaperone waited outside. He refuted these allegations, claiming that the student had “given him permission to proceed” — “as if the violation of protocol and standard of care was Chi’s fault,” according to court documents.
That woman is suing USC, its board of trustees, and Dr. Tyndall in a class action lawsuit filed Monday in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Five other women filed civil lawsuits in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to CBS News.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys expect the litigation to balloon into the hundreds or even thousands, consisting mainly of female students who received a medical examination from Tyndall and were allegedly subjected to his “creepy behavior.”
Also this week, USC fired a pir of longtime student health clinic administrators in the wake of the Tyndall scandal.
Dr. William Leavitt, lead physician at the Engemann Student Health Clinic, confirmed on Friday that he was fired. Tammie Akiyoshi, the clinical director at the health clinic, was also fired.
Former colleagues alleged Tyndall targeted young women, especially those from China and other Asian countries, for exams that included inappropriate touching and lewd remarks about patients' sex lives and bodies, the Times reported.
USC Faculty Calls for President’s Resignation Over Alleged Sexual Assault by Campus Gynecologist
About 200 USC professors and other faculty members have given their signatures to a petition demanding the resignation of campus president, C.L. Max Nikias, alleging that he "has lost the moral authority to lead the University" amid the sexual assault scandal involving longtime campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.
So far this week, at least 6 women have filed suit against USC alleging that they were assaulted under the care of Tyndall during his nearly three decades at the university, and that school officials knew of his behavior and failed to take action.
The suits were filed on the heels of an investigation published by the LA Times, which delved into Tyndall’s alleged pattern of “creepy” behavior, complaints about which date back to the nineties. Tyndall has denied that he did anything wrong, stating that his exams were thorough but appropriate.
USC representatives have admitted that complaints about Tyndall were filed as far back as 2000; however, he wasn’t put on leave until 16 years later, after a nurse in 2016 reported him to the campus rape crisis center. After an investigation, he was fired last June.
"It's really unclear why USC and its clinic leadership didn't take action sooner," said Matt Hamilton, an LA Times reporter who helped break the story. "The faculty at USC…they are in a state of revolt right now."
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Manly, Stewart & Finaldi and The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP based in Southern California along with Washington, D.C.-based Schmidt & Clark, LLP expect numerous additional victims to come forward in the coming days and months, as the full details of Tyndall’s conduct and the negligence of the university are made public.
If you or a loved one believe you have been subjected to sexual assault, abuse, or harassment by Dr. George Tyndall or any other USC employee, we can help. All inquiries are absolutely confidential, and if you decide to pursue a claim, California law allows victims of sexual abuse or assault to remain nameless.
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