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UC Will Pay $244 Million To Patients Of Former Doctor

A brick pathway leads to the entrance of Royce Hall, a terra cotta colored brick building on the campus of UCLA. Green lawns flank both sides of the pathway.
Royce Hall at UCLA
(Zack Simone
LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The University of California will pay close to $244 million in a settlement with more than 200 plaintiffs alleging sexual misconduct by former UCLA gynecologist and oncologist James Heaps. Earlier reports had put the figure closer to $100 million.

One of the plaintiffs, Kara Cagle, says she’s finally receiving recognition of what happened to her eight years ago while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

“Although there is some consolation in that, my heart breaks for all the women who are not spared. All the women who suffered after me because UCLA refused to act. What happened to those women is on UCLA. UCLA will have to live with that with what they've done or rather didn't do,” Cagle said in a news conference Tuesday.

UCLA says in a statement that “the conduct alleged to have been committed by Heaps is reprehensible and contrary to the university’s values,” and it hopes that ”this settlement is one step toward providing healing and closure for the plaintiffs.”

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In a separate class-action lawsuit brought against the University of California and Heaps, a $73 million settlement was reached last July. That settlement included all potential victims and led to the implementation of new policies to protect patients at UCLA Medical facilities.

Heaps is facing felony sex abuse charges involving seven women. He has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.

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Updated February 8, 2022 at 6:44 PM PST
This story was updated to reflect new information about the amount of the settlement.