Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
USC

Ex-USC Gynecologist George Tyndall Arrested in Sex Abuse Cases in Los Angeles

Tyndall’s sexual abuse and misconduct of hundreds of female USC students led to a $215 million settlement for victims, formal notice for which to go out July 11

Reports are emerging that former USC gynecologist George Tyndall, the focus of a massive sexual abuse and misconduct class action that recently resulted in a settlement for victims valued at $215 million, has been arrested at his home in Los Angeles to face sexual abuse charges related to 16 individual patients. Tyndall’s lawyers confirmed the new of his arrest, noting that Tyndall maintains his innocence and refutes the hundreds, even thousands, of accusations and allegations made against him.

As reported by Fox5 San Diego, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department had been amassing evidence against Tyndall for over a year, since May of 2018. The department indicated that the investigating team had “crisscrossed the country” to interview scores of alumnae about their experiences before Tyndall. The investigation led to the presentation of “scores of cases” to prosecutors for potential criminal charges against Tyndall.

Hundreds of former patients sued Tyndall and USC, accusing the university of failing to respond to allegations of abuse by the campus gynecologist dating back decades. On June 13, a federal judge in LA granted preliminary approval to a $215 million class action settlement with women suing the university.

Attorneys for the women included in the settlement, including Co-Class Counsel and Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin, observed that the agreement “gives every single woman who saw Tyndall a choice in how they want to participate and hold USC accountable, while also forcing the school to change to ensure this doesn’t happen again. The judge’s order is an important step toward providing each survivor the relief and measure of closure she deserves, and we look forward to obtaining final approval.”

Under the terms of the settlement, the approximately 17,000 women treated during the physician’s three-decade career would each be eligible to receive from $2,500 to $250,000. The amount would depend on the severity of the alleged misconduct and the women’s willingness to detail those experiences in confidential written statements or interviews.

Beyond the payments, the settlement requires USC to institute a series of administrative changes, including the creation of a position for “an independent women’s health advocate” to ensure complaints about improper sexual or racial conduct are investigated.

USC also must conduct background checks on health center employees that delve into prior history of sexual harassment allegations, in addition to improving staff training and bolstering staffing so that female students have the option of seeing a female doctor.

Formal notice of the settlement will be going out July 11, 2019. More information is available on the settlement website at www.usctyndallsettlement.com.