USC Agrees To $852 Million Settlement Against Former Campus Gynecologist
University of Southern California officials said on Thursday that its board of trustees has agreed to pay 710 women a combined $852 million to settle their allegations of abuse against USC’s former campus gynecologist.
“I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community,” said USC President Carol Folt in an emailed 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.”
An investigation by the LA Times in 2018 was the first to publicly detail accusations from current and former students that Tyndall touched their genitals unnecessarily, and made sexist and derogatory comments during exams. Hundreds of women came forward soon after with similar accusations.
“I was shaken up when I finally got out of that office,” said Allison Rowland at the Los Angeles press conference Thursday announcing the settlement, which was streamed live on Facebook. Rowland said she was abused by Tyndall during an exam while she was a USC student in 1993.
Police arrested Tyndall in 2019 and prosecutors charged him with dozens of felonies. He has pleaded not guilty. The L.A. County District Attorney's office said a hearing in his case is scheduled for Friday.
Another former patient, Lucy Chi, said Thursday that she was abused by Tyndall during an exam around 2014.
“George Tyndall specifically preyed upon Asian women,” Chi said. “He paid special attention to me because I was Asian.”
The outcry against USC’s handling of the Tyndall scandal and other recent scandals has led to fiery criticism of the administration from students and faculty. USC President C. L. Max Nikias stepped down in 2018.
“This will no longer be tolerated,” said John Manly, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs. “USC is not the only university with a dirty doctor.”
The settlement dwarfs a $215 million settlement that USC agreed to in 2019 of a class action lawsuit against Tyndall and the university. USC employed Tyndall as a student health center doctor from 1989 to 2016. The lawsuits allege USC knew of complaints against Tyndall at various times during his 26 years employed by USC, but did not act until 2016, when he was put on leave after a nurse told administrators of Tyndall’s behavior.
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