As USC President Steps Down, More Women Join Class-Action Lawsuit Against University and its Former Gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall

08/10/2018

Lawsuit grows to 44 women as class-action law firm continues fight for women’s rights and systemic change at USC

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LOS ANGELES – Attorneys at leading class-action law firm Hagens Berman are now representing 44 women against the University of Southern California (USC) and its former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, as the sexual abuse case causes USC’s president to step down.

If you were in any way violated or treated inappropriately by USC’s Dr. Tyndall during a medical examination, find out more about the lawsuit and your rights.

“USC’s response has been utterly abysmal, from its cover-up of Dr. Tyndall’s egregious actions, to its failure to report his behavior to the public and to parents, and now to the long overdue stepping down of its president, C. L. Max Nikias,” said Steve Berman, managing partner and co-founder of Hagens Berman. “Our class-action lawsuit seeks systemic changes to USC’s protocols and oversight, not just new figureheads, but real impacts that will create a safer campus at USC and at other universities vulnerable to this same string of abuse.”

The law firm’s latest class-action complaint filed on Aug. 9, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, details the rampant sexual abuse and violations of Dr. Tyndall, who subjected his patients to inappropriate touching, unnecessary penetration with his hands, lewd comments, photographing, and other acts of sexual harassment. The university knew of his behavior since at least the 1990s.

Systemic change in this case could mean changes to USC medical examination protocols, third-party oversight of USC’s student health center, and clear reporting requirements when any medical staff receives a complaint or is witness to a breach of medical protocols – no matter how small.

Were you violated by USC’s Dr. George Tyndall?

Hagens Berman’s expert legal team has compiled resources to help you sort through the confusion and emotion of this case to find strength, empowerment and clarity. Use our handy guides designed by our women attorneys fighting for the rights of women:

“Our team of attorneys is full of women with a breadth of experience speaking with – and fighting for – survivors of abuse, violence and traumatic experiences, and our top priority is to empower and protect anyone seeking our guidance in holding USC and Dr. Tyndall accountable,” added Elizabeth Fegan, partner at Hagens Berman representing the proposed class of women against USC and Dr. Tyndall.

Attorneys at Hagens Berman achieved a nationwide sexual harassment settlement on behalf of 16,000 women and also tried the first ever sexual harassment case in Washington state. The firm represents multiple women on behalf of a class of all victims who were harassed or otherwise assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, seeking to hold him and his co-conspirators accountable for a years-long pattern of sexual harassment and cover-ups.

Tell us about your case today.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with ten offices across the country. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at https://www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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Ashley Klann
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206-268-9363


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11/08/18: CASE UPDATE

On October 19, 2018, hundreds of current and former students of the University of Southern California reached a proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the university and Dr. George Tyndall for his alleged decades-long sexual abuse of patients that persisted despite USC’s knowledge.  The settlement provides for a $215 million common fund.

Under the stipulations of the proposed settlement, there exist three tiers of claims available to class members to apply for payments from the settlement fund:

  • Tier 1: Each Settlement Class Member, who can be identified through existing health center records, or who submits credible evidence of being a patient of Dr. Tyndall at the USC student health center for the period from July 14, 1997 through June 21, 2016, will be mailed a Claim Award in the form of a check for $2,500.  In addition, Settlement Class Members can choose to apply for additional compensation through Tier 2 or 3.
  • Tier 2: Each Settlement Class Member has the option to submit an online or written claim form (the “Claim Form”) describing her experience, the impact to her, and/or the damages she suffered. That Claim Form will be reviewed by a Court-appointed Special Master. If the Special Master determines that the Claim Form is credible, and that the conduct or statement(s) described fall outside the scope of accepted medical standards of care applicable during the relevant time, or that the conduct or statements are determined to otherwise be actionable, the claimant shall receive a Claim Award of no less than $7,500 and up to no more than $20,000.
  • Tier 3: Tier 3 is reserved for those Settlement Class Members who desire to provide further evidence of conduct by or statement(s) from Dr. Tyndall and their impact. Each Settlement Class Member who submits a Tier 3 claim will be interviewed by a forensic psychologist, or her team, or other experts, regarding the Settlement Class Member’s experience and its impact on her. The expert will provide an assessment to the Special Master. Based on all information, the Special Master will determine whether the Claim Form is credible, the conduct or statement(s) described fall outside the scope of accepted medical standards of care applicable during the relevant time, or the conduct or statements were otherwise actionable, and based on an assessment of the emotional distress and/or bodily injury to the claimant, the Special Master will recommend a Claim Award of no less than $7,500 and no more than $250,000.

In class actions, the court must approve attorneys’ fees and costs. USC and Dr. Tyndall have agreed to pay the attorneys’ fees and costs up to $25 million in addition to the settlement fund. This means Class Members may apply for the compensation described above, which will not be reduced by attorneys’ fees and costs.

The settlement is open to every woman who ever had an appointment with Dr. Tyndall, meaning many women who would have never have come forward may be awarded substantial compensation without having to go through the rigorous and much lengthier process of litigation.

We believe that among the best aspects of this proposed settlement for the class is that it gives you two things USC and Dr. Tyndall stole from you: privacy and a choice. Under this settlement, you have the benefit of participating as much or as little as you wish - the choice is yours.

Download the Settlement FAQ »

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this case. We will continue to update you as developments happen.

10/19/18:

$240 Million Proposed Settlement Reached in USC Gynecologist Sexual Abuse Class Action

Today, hundreds of current and former students of the University of Southern California reached a $240 million proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the university and its former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, for his alleged decades-long sexual abuse of his patients that persisted despite USC’s knowledge, according to Hagens Berman. Read the press release »

10/04/18: Case Update

Hundreds of you have already come forward to speak your truth about the unacceptable behavior and abuse from USC's Dr. George Tyndall. Today, another woman has chosen to tell the world about the horrendous reality that women can and are abused by the people they entrust with their healthcare - their own family doctors and gynecologists. Renown journalist Connie Chung has bravely stepped into the spotlight to share her recollections and the aftermath of the assault she suffered. Read or listen here (content warning: sexual assault).

At Hagens Berman, we are fighting to make the world a safer place for women, both to come forward in safety and strength to speak about abuse, and to stop it from happening in the first place. Our attorneys welcome you to join our fight.

09/28/18: Firm Statement

At Hagens Berman, we believe no one is above the law, and that no position of power should shield someone from being held accountable.

Right now, we are witnessing the silencing, belittling and abuse that women everywhere in this nation are subjected to. They are subjected to a system that does not respect them. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s continued nomination to the Supreme Court, and the backlash against the brave survivors who have stepped forward to report sexual assault, are both unacceptable.

We believe survivors. Our firm’s sexual harassment attorneys have protected their rights for decades throughout their legal careers, and we are dedicated to upholding the rights of the most vulnerable. Women should be heard, respected and protected from systemic abuse.

08/27/18: Anonymity & Your Protection

Please note: Your protection is our firm's top priority. If you wish to remain anonymous in your potential case, Hagens Berman will request that the Court permit you to proceed anonymously as a Jane Doe. Remaining anonymous in filing your case will allow you to avoid the spotlight.

Our attorneys have experience in protecting plaintiffs who wish to remain anonymous, both as whistleblowers and as survivors of sexual misconduct.

08/27/18: Consolidated Complaint Filed

On Aug. 27, 2018, Hagens Berman, on behalf of the plaintiffs' executive committee filed a 141-page consolidated class-action complaint in order to streamline the lawsuit. The consolidated case for In Re: USC Student Health Center Litigation includes 51 total plaintiffs and an expanded fact section. This filing combines all of the firm’s previous filings, as well as those of other firms named to the suit’s leadership committee. This will be the operative complaint for the class action in federal court.

Read the consolidated complaint »

08/14/18: Cases Consolidated & Leadership Appointed

On Aug. 14, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson selected Hagens Berman to chair the committee prosecuting the lawsuit.

On June 22, 2018, the firm submitted documents proposing that the court consolidate the many filed cases against USC and Dr. Tyndall, in order to streamline the lawsuit. In consolidating class-action cases, the court routinely appoints leadership positions. Hagens Berman will be in charge of prosecuting the case on behalf of the class in federal court and will lead the court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee consisting of Hagens Berman and two other prominent firms. read more »