Hagens Berman Investigating UCLA’s Gynecologist Dr. James Mason Heaps Regarding Sexual Misconduct
Same law firm is finalizing $240 million settlement for patients of former USC gynecologist in class-action lawsuit over sexual misconduct
LOS ANGELES – The same class-action law firm, Hagens Berman, that is finalizing a $240 million settlement in a lawsuit on behalf of patients of USC’s gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall is now turning its legal team’s investigative eye to UCLA regarding its former part-time gynecologist, Dr. James Mason Heaps, who has been accused of similar sexual misconduct.
Hagens Berman represents a class of women against Harvey Weinstein, and also tried the first ever sexual harassment case in Washington state before it recently represented female students and alumnae of the University of Southern California who were sexually harassed and abused at USC Student Health Center by its former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.
According to recent investigations, Dr. James Mason Heaps, a gynecologist who worked part time at UCLA’s student health center from about 1983 to 2010, has been accused of inappropriate touching, including improper digital penetration, and his patients have reported uncomfortable appointments.
Previous patients of Dr. Heaps who wish to find out more about their options may also visit the firm’s Resource Center for more information.
Dr. Heaps has also been accused by prosecutors of touching patients “for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification and sexual abuse” while they were unconscious, recent news reports.
“These claims against UCLA are nothing short of alarming, and yet the university waited years before it began its investigation into complaints it received as far back as 2014,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, leading the investigation. “We intend to fully investigate UCLA for its handling of this gross sexual misconduct, and we expect that more and more patients will step forward, as was the case with USC and Dr. George Tyndall. There is strength in numbers.”
UCLA’S Cover Up
According to the Los Angeles Times, “UCLA launched an internal investigation after receiving a patient complaint in December 2017 of inappropriate and medically unnecessary touching and comments.” The investigation revealed that UCLA had received complaints about Dr. Heaps from two other patients, one in 2014 and another in 2015.
UCLA did not notify the medical board about Dr. Heaps until June of 2018.
UCLA notified Heaps in April 2018 that he would not be reappointed and did not publicize the reasons behind his not being reappointed. Dr. Heaps was placed on leave and announced his retirement later that month.
“UCLA took the time to carefully usher Dr. Heaps from his role at the university’s student health center, yet it failed to find the opportunity to investigate his patients’ claims for years,” Berman said. “UCLA’s response has been too little and much, much too late.”
Recent news headlines have brought these heinous acts to the forefront, and many victims have bravely stepped forward to tell their stories. Hagens Berman continues this fight, working to help achieve justice for those who have been victim to sexual violation, and enforce systemic change. Tell us about your case.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with nine offices across the country. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” and MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
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