Hagens Berman Blog

Sexual Harassment News: Statute Of Limitations, USC, George Tyndall


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Child sex abuse victims deserve time to sue

Despite revelations of pervasive child sexual abuse that have come to light in recent decades, the Legislature has not provided victims more time to seek justice in civil court. This makes the state a national outlier and cries out for reform.

Legislators have not since 1991 modified the law that gives victims of child rape in Washington only three years of adulthood — until their 21st birthday — to sue attackers and hold accountable an irresponsible institution, such as a church or youth group. The same law allows another three-year window when a victim realizes that childhood abuse caused a harm, such as an addiction.

Victims of child sex crimes deserve more time to grapple with trauma and contemplate a public lawsuit. The vast majority of states, including Oregon and Idaho, have laws that provide at least a few years longer. The nonprofit Child USA traces a national reform movement on this issue to 2002, the year The Boston Globe brought to light the Catholic Church’s systematic concealment of abusers.

Since then, 38 states and Washington, D.C. have expanded the time victims have to bring lawsuits. Ten states have eliminated the civil statute of limitations entirely, Because these laws are not retroactive, 16 states have given all past victims a temporary window to file child sex-abuse lawsuits. The Washington Legislature should consider both policies. read more »

Ex-USC doctor charged with sex abuse surrenders medical license

George Tyndall's medical license had been suspended last year. He is accused of assaulting patients at the USC student health center.

George Tyndall, a former University of Southern California gynecologist charged with sexually assaulting patients, has surrendered his medical license, the state medical board announced Monday.

Tyndall surrendered the license effective last Thursday, the board announced. His license would have expired Jan. 31.

The medical board suspended Tyndall's license last year. It accused him of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with five women dating as far back as 2009. The women alleged that he groped and fondled them and made suggestive remarks during the exams at the USC student health center. read more »

Allegations against USC’s George Tyndall inspire lawmakers to take action

California lawmakers on Monday acted to temporarily lift the statute of limitations on lawsuits for damages over sex abuse allegations against former USC campus gynecologist George Tyndall, accusations that were brought to light in a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

The bill, which was approved unanimously Monday by the Assembly, now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom for consideration. read more »