USC Sexual Assault Settlements Urged By Board Chair, To Avoid Depositions and Trials for Former Students

The new chairman of the University of Southern California (USC) Board of Directors indicates that the school should push to quickly settle sexual assault lawsuits being pursued by former students, involving alleged abuse and molestation by Dr. George Tyndall, a former gynecologist in the student health center. 

USC Board Chair Rick Caruso said that he wants the cases resolved so that Tyndall’s victims do not have to go through a trial and testify publicly about the abuse. Caruso said he hopes to avoid putting the women through any additional hardship, according to a report by the L.A. Times.

The statement came as USC and the board of directors face a growing number of lawsuits brought by former students, including a complaint filed by 51 women on Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. To date, more than 250 women have filed USC sexual assault lawsuits against Tyndall and USC, including a number of class actions.

In May, 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 for decades while working as a gynecologist in the university health clinic. Nikias was replaced by Caruso.

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 that Tyndall’s behavior was unacceptable, and should not have been tolerated for so long.

The pattern of USC student sexual abuse 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.


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