Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

USC agrees to pay $215M to settle doctor sex abuse claims

USC agrees to pay $215M to settle doctor sex abuse claims

"Our Board of Trustees supports this settlement, which was reached in collaboration with plaintiffs' counsel, and which will provide relief to those who have been impacted by this hard experience", interim USC President Dr. Wanda Austin said in a statement. He was suspended in 2016 after a health worker accused him of making sexually inappropriate comments to patients.

Of the hundreds of accusations against Tyndall, women claim the doctor molested and abused them, made crude comments, took inappropriate photos, and forced patients to strip naked in order to grope them.

About 500 current and former students have now made accusations against Tyndall.

Tyndall has denied the allegations and has not been charged with any sexual misconduct.

Tyndall has thousands of former patients; officials estimate the class could be as many as 14,000 to 17,000 women, according to Tara Lee, an attorney representing the school.

In the statement, USC Interim President Wanda Austin said the settlement is a good first step, but added that the process is not over yet.

The law firm of Manly, Stewart and Finaldi, which represents dozens of women allegedly abused by Tyndall, noted that its clients are not bound by the "paltry" settlement announced Friday. But he called on the state attorney general's office to investigate USC's handling of complaints against Tyndall.

Tyndall's attorney, N. Denise Taylor, said her client denies all allegations but agreed to the settlement to avoid the expense of continued litigation.


Brennan Heil, a USC senior, said she went to see Tyndall as a freshman after she was raped. The university is also offering free counselling and support services to former patients of Tyndall.

"A fair and respectful resolution for as many former patients as possible has been a priority for the university and for me personally since I began serving in the role of interim president", Austin said.

In August, then USC President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down after an outcry from faculty and students, who said the downtown Los Angeles school was slow to act over complaints against Tyndall.

Austin stressed that the university recently has made "sweeping changes", and "we continue to work every day to prevent all forms of misconduct on our campuses, to provide outstanding care to all students, and to ensure we have policies and procedures that prioritize respect for our students and our entire university community".

"I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust", said Dana Loewy, who said Tyndall assaulted her during an exam in 1993. We care deeply about our community, we are listening carefully, learning from these experiences and strengthening our university. Los Angeles police and Los Angeles County prosecutors are reviewing the claims.

The USC Board of Trustees is completing an independent investigation into the USC student health center, according to a statement released Friday by Rick Caruso, chair of the USC board of trustees.

Our Board of Trustees supports this settlement, which was reached in collaboration with plaintiffs' counsel, and which will provide relief to those who have been impacted by this hard experience.

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