What You Need to Know about the USC Tyndall Sex Abuse Settlement
For 30 years, George Tyndall worked at the University of Southern California’s school clinic, where he was the only full-time gynecologist. While at USC, Tyndall is alleged to have sexually abused thousands of patients who came to him for diagnosis and treatment of female health issues. The first allegations were levied in 2016 when a nurse chaperone reported him for “making inappropriate comments to a student patient.” Despite the allegations, he was allowed to leave USC in 2017 with a secret payout from the school and a clean record.
What was George Tyndall accused of?
George Tyndall was accused of sexually abusing thousands of patients at the USC school clinic, where he was the only full-time gynecologist on staff until 2017. Patients accuse Tyndall of “[touching] female students in inappropriate, medically unnecessary ways, while making sexually charged comments about patients’ appearances and the way their genitals felt. He also asked intrusive questions about patients’ sex lives that were not medically related.”
How many people were sexually abused by George Tyndall?
More than 18,000 patients have come forward with allegations against George Tyndall from the time he was on staff at the USC student clinic. The true number of people he sexually abused is unknown.
How large were the Tyndall settlements?
USC paid $215 million to settle a federal class action in 2018, which included about 18,000 current and former students who were treated by Tyndall. In March 2021, USC agreed to pay more than $850 million to settle the civil cases filed by Tyndall’s former patients.
How did USC react to the sex abuse lawsuits involving Tyndall?
In 2017, USC allowed Tyndall to leave the university with a secret payout and a clean record. As a result, the school’s president, Max Nikias, was forced to resign in 2018. In addition, USC paid out on the aforementioned $215 million federal class action settlement.
In the wake of the $850+ million settlement in 2021, USC’s president, Carol Folt, issued a statement acknowledging Tyndall’s negative impact on the school’s community and stating it has paid more than $1 billion to settle related lawsuits. Folt also noted the school’s increased spotlight on accountability and governance, with an improved focus on where and how to report concerns, and a renewed commitment to investigating, tracking and resolving complaints.
Is this an isolated incident or is the problem more widespread?
This is not an isolated incident at USC or other college campuses across the country. A 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities found 13% of all students experienced a form of sexual assault and 42% experienced sexual harassment. Of those, only 15% took steps to contact a campus resource for help. With only 15% of victims telling someone what happened, the actual number of student sexual abuse and assault are much higher.
Sexual abuse on school campuses is gaining more attention due to recent headline-grabbing incidents like these:
- In October 2022, James Heaps – an obstetrician/gynecologist employed by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) was found guilty of five counts of felony sexual abuse of female patients. UCLA agreed to pay $600 million to more than 500 former patients of Heaps.
- In April 2022, USC settled a lawsuit with 80 former male students who were sexually abused by campus physician Dennis Kelly.
- Between September 1978 and March 1998, Richard Strauss, a former doctor at The Ohio State University, sexually abused at least 177 male students but was never disciplined by the school.
Is there a statute of limitations on filing a sexual abuse claim in Washington State?
In 2019, Washington State eliminated the statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes against victims who are under 16 years old at the time of the crime. For victims 16 years old and older, the statute of limitations is 20 years from the commission of the crime.
How PCVA Can Help
Our nationally recognized attorneys have represented thousands of sexual abuse survivors, helping them achieve justice by holding the institutions that failed to protect them accountable and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on their behalf. Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complicated and concerning sexual abuse cases in the country and are often consulted by other law firms for guidance and expertise when representing sexual abuse survivors.
If you or a loved one has experienced sexual abuse or assault, our attorneys are here to listen and help. Schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our lawyers by completing our intake form or calling us at (253) 948-3199 or (206) 536-2850.
How much do you charge?
Our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that if your case achieves a favorable settlement or verdict, we collect a portion of the amount.
Below are additional resources for survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): https://www.rainn.org/
- State Law Database: https://apps.rainn.org/policy/