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University of Southern California Sexual Abuse Case Gets Filed

  • May 26, 2018
  • KBA Attorneys
  • No Comments

Four women treated for reproductive health care services at the University of Southern California (USC) during the 90s are claiming they were sexually abused and assaulted by then campus gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall.

The suit filed on May 21, 2018, alleges Tyndall acted inappropriately during gynecological examinations, including demanding patients disrobe entirely for routine exams, inappropriate touching of breasts and other body parts, and vaginal penetration without any medical reasoning. Tyndall’s criminal accusations are yet another instance of heinous sexual predators lurking amongst trusted medical care professionals.

Sadly, sexual abuse from a gynecologist or any other medical professional is not an uncommon crime. In most cases, like the USC incident, the sexual abuse or assault takes place during a typical, routine gynecological examination. Sometimes the sexual abuse or assault can happen without an individual realizing they have been a victim of abuse until years later, after reflection and awareness.

Recently medical professionals being accused and sentenced for the sexual crimes have made headlines and raised public knowledge. The horrific experience of young women victimized by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is only one headline case. These types of crimes happen across the country to countless women, every single year.

At KBA, we have worked with several women who have been through similar situations and have had to accept the disgusting and criminal reality that “my gynecologist sexually abused me.”

We have seen this story before, a serial sexual predator like Dr. George Tyndall, operating for years in a position of power, gaining the trust of a community, and betraying that trust by sexual assaulting and abusing patients under his sworn care.

We naturally ask; where was the University of Southern California’s President Max Nikias during all this? Where was the Board of Trustees as well? Was no one aware of what was happening on their campus, to their female students? And if they we aware, why did it take this long for Tyndall to be brought to justice? For this level of sexual abuse to occur and the length of time that it did, we assume that someone at the university must have known something.

Anyone sexually abused by Tyndall has a right to demand answers from the University of Southern California. Institutional negligence or willful ignorance on the part of the University of Southern California contributed to these victim’s injuries, and USC should be accountable as well.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused or assaulted by a gynecologist during a medical examination, contact us at KBA today. Help us confront your abuser and protect your legal rights.

There are two systems for holding doctors who conduct sexual abuse during a medical examination accountable for their crimes, the criminal justice system and the civil justice system. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system does not always hold perpetrators accountable to the full extent of the law. KBA partner Brian Ketterer sadly knows this all too well.
During his time as a prosecutor, Brian worked with many people who have experienced sexual abuse and has seen the criminal justice system let them down.

In the civil justice system, victims of sexual abuse during a gynecological examination can sue the doctor at fault as well as the public or private institutions who negligently hired and oversaw the employment of the accused doctor. A civil suit involves individually filed lawsuits where then a judge or jury will decide how much compensation a victim deserves for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of their doctor’s actions and the negligence of the doctor’s employer in preventing and stopping the abuse. The only thing that matters is the victim’s injuries; the verdict is theirs alone. Another alternative legal course is a class action.

A class action is a lawsuit filed in court where one or a small number of individuals will represent other persons who have had a similar experience. These class representatives participate in the lawsuit and settlement negotiation. From there a settlement is proposed to everyone else who fits within defined parameters, such as the case involving the women abused by Dr. George Tyndall at USC.

In the case filed against Tyndall and USC on May 21, 2018, a group of women has alleged inappropriate touching, groping, disgusting comments and intrusions into their sexual lives. These women were courageous enough to report Tyndall to the University of Southern California, but the institution retained him. Thus, the University of Southern California, including the Board of Trustees, were named defendants in the case, accused of violations of federal law, including 20 USC 1681, violations of California’s Equity in Higher Education, California’s Gender Violence Act, and negligence. The complaint asserts that the University of Southern California (USC) and Board of Trustees committed gross negligence by continuing to retain and supervise the employment of Dr. George Tyndall. As a result, these brave women had to endure years of emotional distress resulting from the battery that occurred during their medical examinations.

Class actions are compelling and useful ways to hold offenders accountable, but they too have their limitations and downsides. For one, each person involved does not necessarily get to have “their day in court” and might not get to tell their story. We are exploring individual lawsuits as another option for women who have experienced sexual abuse from a gynecologist.

It is unfathomable that a campus gynecologist could be allowed to engage in this conduct, we will investigate any failure by those responsible for negligent oversight. We hope President Max Nikias and the Board of Trustees will lead the university to investigate this matter and provide the details, an explanation, and strict controls to assure this never happens again.

Every woman treated at the student health center, especially any woman who had a gynecological exam at the University of Southern California (USC) should reflect back on their experiences. Those who seek justice for any misconduct inflicted upon them may have legal rights available to them. Sexual misconduct is punishable in the civil justice system. Any inappropriate conduct under the guise of medical treatment or care, anyone who experienced sexual abuse during an examination, or who is aware of or suffered sexual abuse from a gynecologist, should speak with a lawyer as well as a mental health professional right away.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused or assaulted by a gynecologist during a medical examination, contact us at KBA today. Help us confront your abuser and protect your legal rights.