Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

A $215 Million Settlement Proposed in Alleged USC Gynecologist Abuse

93 women accuse former USC doctor of sex abuse USC to pay $215m over gynaecologist sex abuse claims
Jeannette Daniel | 21 October, 2018, 22:02

The University of Southern California said Friday that it would pay $215 million to settle claims of sexual abuse and harassment by a school gynecologist while lawyers for hundreds of the accusers said the amount is not enough and the school has yet to fully disclose what it knew about the doctor's behavior.

People enter the University of Southern California's Engemann Student Health Center in Los Angeles, May 22, 2018.

On Thursday, attorneys for 93 more patients filed lawsuits against USC, brings the total number of women who have accused Tyndall of misconduct to more than 400.

Tyndall has denied the allegations, and a statement from his lawyer claimed that his examinations "were for the stated medical objective", according to CNN.

The Los Angeles Police Department is now conducting a criminal investigation into the allegations.

His attorney, Leonard Levine, said in a statement that Tyndall "continues to focus on the criminal investigation" and had no further comment.

Three attorneys representing almost 300 alleged victims say they're strongly advising their clients against joining the federal action so they can continue their fight in state court instead.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 36 women who have accused Tyndall, said in a statement that the amount of money under the proposed settlement is "way too minimal" for what some of the women endured. He also individually criticized some members of USC's Board of Trustees for failing to speak out about the case. "Conduct an independent investigation and release the report so we know who knew what, when and were, and those who contributed to the abuse of these women are held accountable".

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Tara Lee, an attorney who represents USC, said questions regarding potential criminal conduct are being investigated "and those answers will be available when the investigation itself is completed". She says the doctor made inappropriate comments like "your vagina is tiny" and "Your breasts are so big, like other Indians" after ordering her to strip completely naked and then "roughly moving his fingers in, out and around the inside of her vagina".

"When I became chair of the board last May, I pledged that the university would treat anyone impacted by this experience with dignity and respect including, and most importantly, instructing our team to resolve this litigation as thoughtfully and fairly as possible", he said.

Our Board of Trustees supports this settlement, which was reached in collaboration with plaintiffs' counsel, and which will provide relief to those who have been impacted by this hard experience. Those who submit written claims detailing their allegations and the impact on their lives would be eligible for between $7,500 and $20,000. Some may choose just to provide evidence that they are former patients, and would be eligible for a $2,500 payment.

The proposed settlement was "reached with plaintiffs' counsel", Austin said.

The school announced Friday that it reached the settlement "to compensate students who received women's health services from Dr. George Tyndall at USC's student health center".

In August, USC President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down in the wake of the criticism arising from the sex-abuse allegations. USC has denied accusations of a cover-up. He left the university in 2017 after an internal inquiry found he had made inappropriate remarks to patients. "We, along with President Austin, will continue to work to make it even stronger for our students, patients, faculty, staff, and alumni".

They alleged gross sexual misconduct and sexual assault on campus by Tyndall. Dana Loewy claimed Tyndall assaulted her during an examination in 1993.

The hundreds of women who have filed various lawsuits against the university can join the lawsuit affected by the agreement but Manly said he is strongly advising his clients against doing so.

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