University pays $1bn to women over abuse claims against campus gynaecologist

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Akshita Jain
·2 min read
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<p>File photo: The University of Southern California pictured in Los Angeles on 22 May, 2018</p> (REUTERS)

File photo: The University of Southern California pictured in Los Angeles on 22 May, 2018

(REUTERS)

The University of Southern California has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to hundreds of women who were sexually assaulted by a former campus gynaecologist.

George Tyndall was arrested in 2019 and is facing 29 criminal charges, including 18 counts of sexual assault and 11 of sexual battery, according to CNN. He has pleaded not guilty.

The university said the sum is the result of multiple settlements, including an $852 million settlement with 710 former patients of Mr Tyndall who filed suit in California state court and a $215 million federal class action agreement reached in 2018.

“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,” USC president Carol L Folt said in a statement.

“I do hope this much-needed resolution provides some relief to the women abused by George Tyndall.”

The law firm, which represented several women in the case, said the payout marked the largest sexual abuse settlement with a university.

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Accusations against Tyndall date as far back as 1990. They first surfaced in 2018 when The Los Angeles Times reported that he had been the subject of complaints of sexual misconduct at USC dating back to the 1990s.

He was only suspended in 2016 when a nurse reported him to a rape crisis centre. The university allowed him to resign with a large payout and did not report him to the state medical board.

Tyndall continues to deny all allegations, his attorney Leonard Levine said. He also said that he expects trial to start later this year.

Following massive outrage over the university’s handling of the matter, then-USC President CL Max Nikias resigned. He was replaced by Ms Folt.

Board of Trustees chair Rick Caruso acknowledged in a statement that the “institution fell short by not doing everything it could to protect those who matter to us most – our students.”

“For years, the victims of George Tyndall suffered in silence. I am sorry for the pain this caused the very people we were obligated to protect,” Mr Caruso said.