Settlements for Sexual Assault by University Gynecologist Results In Additional $852 Million in Payments by USC

The University of Southern California (USC) has agreed to pay another $852 million to settle sexual abuse allegations raised by more than 700 women, who say they were victimized by a former gynecologist who worked in the student health center for years.

The settlement comes after prior agreements to pay $215 million to resolve class action claims against USC, which was announced in February 2019, over the same failure of the University to address reports of problems with the gynecologist or stop the abuse.

In May 2018, it was disclosed that former gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall faced years of credible allegations that he was sexually abusing female USC students for decades, leading to hundreds of individual lawsuits filed against USC, including a number of class action claims brought to pursue damages on behalf of all women treated by the former gynecologist at the student health center.

USC President C. L. Max Nikias agreed to resign just days after he sent a letter to students and staff about the allegations, indicating an investigation determined Tyndall engaged in inappropriate behavior with USC students while working as a gynecologist in the university health clinic. However, Tyndall was allowed to retire in June 2017, despite dozens of claims that he assaulted female patients, and made both sexually suggestive and racist comments for years.

This latest settlement for the sexual assaults was announced on Thursday by attorneys representing 710 women who brought claims against Tyndall and USC, and the terms were confirmed in a press release issued by the University.

The deal is believed to be the largest known settlement involving any university in U.S. history, but represents only about 15% of the $5.9 billion endowed to USC last year, according to a report by the Washington Post.

The agreement has been approved by the USC board of trustees, and the university called the agreement “fair and reasonable.”

“Reaching a fair agreement with these former students has been a top priority for the Board of Trustees and President Carol Folt,” USC General Counsel Beong-Soo Kim said in the press release. “We want to thank the Plaintiff’s Liaison Counsel for their willingness to work with us to resolve this litigation responsibly.”

“I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community,” USC President Carol L. Folt said in a separate statement. “We appreciate the courage of all who came forward and hope this much needed resolution provides some relief to the women abused by George Tyndall.”

The university indicates the settlement agreement resolves all state court litigation.

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