The University of Southern California (“USC”) announced in late March 2021 that it had reached an $852 million settlement agreement with 710 former patients of George Tyndall (“Tyndall”) who filed suit in California state court. Combined with the $215 million federal class action agreement reached in 2018 and other settlements, the total amount paid to the federal and state plaintiffs will exceed $1.1 billion and bring an end to litigation brought by former patients of Tyndall.
Federal Class Action Settlement
In the federal class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Tyndall assaulted, abused, sexually harassed, committed medical malpractice, or otherwise acted inappropriately towards female patients while he was a gynecologist at the USC Student Health Center, and that USC failed to respond appropriately to Dr. Tyndall’s conduct. Class members were seen for treatment by Dr. Tyndall at the University of Southern California Student Health Center during the period from August 14, 1989 to June 21, 2016 for Women’s Health Issues, including but not limited to issues relating to breast, vaginal, urinary tract, bowel, gynecological, or sexual health, including contraception and fertility; or whose treatment by Dr. Tyndall included an examination by him of her breast or genital areas; or whose treatment included the taking of photographs or videotapes of her unclothed or partially clothed body. Source
With regard to the federal class action settlement, 16,019 claimants received payments. The federal class action covered a much broader group of women – anyone who saw Tyndall for a woman’s health exam regardless of what happened during the examination was included. They were able to recover compensation without the need to retain a lawyer, engage in litigation, provide information to USC in discovery or complete a deposition. Any patient who saw Tyndall was eligible to participate in the class action regardless of what happened during her examination.
In the state court litigation, 761 plaintiffs received compensation. In order to file in state court, plaintiffs had to retain counsel, consult with a mental health practitioner, and allege that they were damaged in an amount greater than $250,000, which limited who could file state court lawsuits.
USC’s President stated in a letter to the USC community dated March 25, 2021: “I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by the women who trusted him as a physician and appreciate the courage of all who came forward. I do hope this much-needed resolution provides some relief to the women abused by George Tyndall. He has not practiced medicine at USC since 2016 and is currently under house arrest awaiting trial on criminal charges.”
If you or a loved one may have been harmed as a result of sexual assault by a physician in California or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a California medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your sexual assault claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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