USC proposes $215 million settlement in suit stemming from sex assault accusations against gynecologist

Rob Hayes Image
Saturday, October 20, 2018
USC proposes $215M settlement in alleged gynecologist abuse
USC announced that it has reached a $215 million class-action lawsuit settlement to compensate students who received health services from Dr. George Tyndall.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The University of Southern California announced Friday that it reached a $215 million class-action lawsuit settlement "in principle" to compensate students who received health services from Dr. George Tyndall, a former campus gynecologist who has been accused by more than 100 women of sexual abuse.

The settlement was reached in collaboration with the plaintiffs' counsel, USC interim president Wanda Austin said in an open letter addressed to the "USC community."

"By doing so, we hope that we can help our community move collectively toward reconciliation," Austin said. "I regret that any student ever felt uncomfortable, unsafe, or mistreated in any way as a result of the actions of a university employee."

Lawyers called for California's attorney general to investigate USC and its involvement over the sex abuse scandal surrounding former gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall as more victims came forward Thursday.

According to the statement, each former student who received health services from Tyndall will receive $2,500. Those who are willing to provide further details about their experience may be eligible for up to $250,000 in additional compensation.

"It's not a victim's settlement. It's a protect Dr. Tyndall settlement and protect USC settlement," attorney Mike Arias said.

He represents more than 80 women who are suing USC and more than 460 people are already part of lawsuits against USC over the Tyndall case. Arias is advising his clients and urging others not to take the settlement, calling it a low-ball offer designed to make the case go away quickly and cheaply.

"If you're a victim, do not make any decisions now. There's no need to rush to do so. You need to take time, it needs to be evaluated. Don't let USC make you a victim a second time by rushing you to do something that you shouldn't do," Arias said.

Tyndall, who denies the allegations, has not been charged with a crime.

He spent about three decades as a USC staff gynecologist before retiring last year after a USC investigation concluded there was evidence he sexually harassed students during physical examinations.

USC also said that any money leftover from the settlement will be donated toward charities advocating for women's health and well-being.