LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Attorneys representing over 700 women who claim they were sexually abused by George Tyndall, a former University of Southern California gynecologist, announced a $852 million “global settlement” of lawsuits against the university Thursday.
Dr. George Tyndall at his arraignment on sex assault charges in Los Angeles County Superior Court. July 1, 2019. (CBS2)
“The sheer size of this settlement is testimony to the enormous harm that the depraved action of George Tyndall caused our clients,” according to a statement from the law firm of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, which represents 234 of the plaintiffs. “It also speaks to the culpability of USC in employing Tyndall for 30 years and ignoring volumes of complaints and evidence of his misdeeds.”
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The settlement comes after USC last year reached a $215 million settlement in principle on a class-action lawsuit brought against Tyndall by hundreds of patients.
As part of the settlement, all class-action members would receive compensation of $2,500.
Combined, the settlements surpass $1 billion, a record amount according to the Associated Press.
There was no immediate response from USC to the planned announcement.
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USC officials have previously denied any cover-up and said the university has put new protocols in place at its Student Health Center to ensure complaints are fully investigated and resolved.
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Hundreds of women have come forward with allegations of abuse by Tyndall under the guise of gynecological exams during his time at the university, with some complaints dating back to the 1980s.
According to attorneys with Los Angeles-based Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos and Baltimore-based Janet, Janet and Suggs — who combined to represent 136 of the plaintiffs — a third-party administrator will review specific damages amounts for each plaintiff and allocate the proceeds.
“This is a tremendous vindication for all the women who suffered abuse at the hands of a disgusting doctor who had to endure inaction and a cover-up by USC,” said Nicole Haynes, one of the plaintiffs in the case.
Several women accusing former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall of sexual misconduct hold a news conference to announce lawsuits against him in the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles. Oct. 18, 2018. (CBS2)
The various lawsuits have alleged that Tyndall used his position as a trusted and credentialed medical professional to commit a series of abusive acts toward his patients, such as forcing patients to undress completely in front of him while he watched, groping patients’ breasts and making racist, misogynistic and sexually harassing comments to patients.
The lawsuits contend USC was aware of Tyndall’s sexual abuse of female student patients for decades and continued to grant him unfettered sexual access to the young students in his and USC’s care.
Tyndall was originally charged in June 2019 with 18 felony counts of sexual penetration and 11 felony counts of sexual battery by fraud involving 16 women dating back to 2009, with the alleged victims ranging in age from 17 to 31. He pleaded not guilty and was released from jail on bond about two months after his arrest.