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The University of Southern California (USC) and gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall face another lawsuit filed on behalf of a former student who says she was sexually molested during medical examinations at the student health center.
The complaint (PDF) was filed in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County on May 30, naming the University, Tyndall and the USC Board of Trustees as defendants.
The 28 year old former student attended the USC Gould School of Law from August 2014 through May 2017, indicating that she was examined three times by Dr. Tyndall during her time at the school. During one examination and one non-examination meeting, the student indicates that she was left alone with Tyndall, who engaged in inappropriate behavior that crossed the line into sexual molestation, abuse and harrassment.
The lawsuit indicates that Dr. Tyndall’s gynecology examinations were involved an “unnecessarily slow and intense” inspection of every part of her body. Dr. Tyndall also allegedly made “grossly inappropriate remarks” while he had his fingers inside the student’s vagina, and while touching other parts of her body.
The student states that Dr. Tyndall inserted his fingers into her vagina, claiming he was insuring the speculum would fit, and made inappropriate comments on the strength of her vaginal muscles.
The claims are similar to allegations raised in a growing number of USC student lawsuits, which claim the University knew or should have known about Dr. Tyndall’s behavior while treating students over a period of nearly 30 years.
Despite numerous reports and complaints over the last two decades, USC allegedly failed to protect patients from a sexual predator.
Late last month, USC President C. L. Max Nikias agreed to resign just days after he sent a letter to students and staff announcing the results of an investigation into allegations that Tyndall engaged in inappropriate behavior with USC students.
Tyndall was allowed to retire in June 2017, and to date faces no criminal charges, despite dozens of claims that he assaulted female patients, and made both sexually suggestive and racist comments for years.
While USC indicated that it could find no evidence of criminal conduct, the University acknowledged in the statement last month that Dr. Tyndall’s behavior was unacceptable, and should not have been tolerated for so long.
This latest complaint indicates that at least one chaperone reported that she witnessed at least 70 examinations where Dr. Tyndall inserted his fingers into female patients and made similar crude remarks. The lawsuit also notes that experts in gynecology indicate that it is not an accepted practice to use digital insertion to test whether a speculum would fit.
Tyndall’s behavior was only addressed by the university after a nurse, frustrated with the lack of response to numerous complaints, took the issue to the campus’s rape crisis center. That led to an investigation of Tyndall, along with a suspension of his duties, and eventually a deal between Tyndall and USC that culminated in his retirement.
The University only reported his activities to the California Medical Board in March, after Tyndall contacted USC indicating that he wanted his job back. However, the complaints date back to the early 2000’s.
While the Los Angeles Police Department has been contacted about the incident by the university and attorneys representing some of his alleged victims, no criminal charges have yet been filed.