What is the USC Abuse Scandal?

Dr. George Tyndall was a longtime gynecologist at the university’s student health center. He was the only gynecologist on staff and worked for the school for nearly 30 years. Dr. Tyndall was questioned over the particular method of examination that he used where he digitally probed women vaginally before using a speculum during pelvic exams. In addition, the doctor was accused of improperly taking photos of women, claiming that they were for research purposes. Further, Dr. Tyndall was accused of making racially insensitive remarks and other inappropriate comments about women’s bodies.

Female Students Seeking Medical Care at USC Experienced Sexual Misconduct

Who is Eligible?

Former USC students who attended the university between 1988 and 2017 and was a patient of George Tyndall at the Student Health Clinic.

Sexual Misconduct by Tyndall

  • Requiring female patients to be completely nude during exams
  • Asking invasive questions about a patient’s personal history
  • Making sexually & racially inappropriate comments
  • Inappropriately touching patients during gynecology visits
  • Taking pictures of patients

USC Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Many of the women claimed that the school knew about or should have known about Dr. Tyndall’s abuse. However, the school took no action to stop the abuse until the Los Angeles Times covered the story in 2016. The university’s inaction allowed Dr. Tyndall’s pattern of conduct to continue for years after it should have been stopped.

The school launched an investigation in 2016 but did not terminate Dr. Tyndall for another year. Hundreds of women have come forward, alleging that Dr. Tyndall sexually abused them during their examinations. Even after the doctor was fired, countless more women came forward.

The school entered into a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against USC. The amount of the settlement was $215 million. New lawsuits are still being filed against the school based on Dr. Tyndall’s conduct.

A new California law that was signed by the state’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, gives more victims of sexual misconduct by George Tyndall that opportunity to find justice.

1990s

The LAPD reported that their earliest complaint against Tyndall dates back to 1990.

Early 2000s

Three patients filed complaints about Tyndall’s sexual misconduct.

2013

Tyndall was ordered to keep his door open when with patients after complaints were sent the the university’s Office of Equity and Diversity.

2016

Tyndall was placed on paid leave for about a year after complaints of Tyndall’s inappropriate behavior from Cindy Gilbert reached Ekta Kumar, the executive director at the rape crisis center.

January 2017

USC informed Tyndall that he violated the university’s policy on sexual harassment.

June 2017

Tyndall resigned with an undisclosed financial payout from USC.

May 2018

Lawsuits against Tyndall and USC began to be filed and the LAPD opened a criminal investigation, looking into 52 sexual misconduct complaints against Tyndall.

June 2018

The U.S. Department of Education announced an investigation into how USC dealt with sexual misconduct complaints and at least 200 former USC students joined lawsuits against USC.

July 2018

51 more patients of Tyndall filed lawsuits against USC.

August 2018

30 more lawsuits claiming USC failed to protect its students were filed by victims of Tyndall.

October 2018

Tyndall loses his medical license after state regulators officially accused him of sexual misconduct.
July 2018 – Tyndall pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges, however investigators presented a large amount of evidence against the former gynecologist.

June 2019

A $215 million settlement for the class action lawsuit against USC over sexual abuse by Tyndall was given preliminary approval.

June 2019

Dr. Tyndall was arrested and charged with 29 felonies in the case. The period covered by his indictment ranged from 2009 to 2016, and it claimed that he abused hundreds of women. Dr. Tyndall now faces up to 53 years in prison if he is convicted of all counts.

October 2019

A new law was signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to extend the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse by Tyndall. The new law allows any case regarding assaults between 1988 and 2017 seeking more than $250,000 in damages are eligible to be revisited.

References

Stephanie Elam and Jack Hannah. “93 more ex-students accuse former USC gynecologist of sexual misconduct, attorney says”, CNN. Accessed June 27, 2019.

Katie Malafronte. “USC Settles with Ex-Gynecologist’s Sexual Abuse Victims for $215M”, Campus Safety Magazine. Accessed June 27, 2019.

Bill Chappell. “Penn State Abuse Scandal: A Guide And Timeline”, NPR. Accessed June 27, 2019.

FindLaw. “College Sexual Assault: Key Legal Issues”, FindLaw. Accessed June 27, 2019.

KBA Attorneys. “$215M Settlement Announced in USC Sex Abuse Class Action Lawsuit”, KBA Attorneys. Accessed June 27, 2019.

KBA Attorneys. “Six former students sue USC and former doctor who allege sexual harassment”, KBA Attorneys. Accessed June 27, 2019.

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