USC Students and Alumnae Join Class-Action Lawsuit Against University’s Gynecologist for Sexual Violations

06/04/2018

More than 20 women have stepped forward to represent a proposed class of “hundreds if not thousands”

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LOS ANGELES – A growing class-action lawsuit filed against the University of Southern California (USC) and the university’s longtime gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, for his sexual abuse, molestation, and unwanted touching of his patients at USC is now 21 women-strong, as additional alumnae and students are stepping forward to join the lawsuit brought by attorneys at Hagens Berman.

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.

Please note: Your protection is Hagens Berman’s top priority. We welcome any information, and those who contact our firm may remain anonymous in their potential case. Hagens Berman will request that the Court permit our clients to proceed anonymously as a Jane Doe. Our attorneys have experience in protecting plaintiffs who wish to remain anonymous, both as whistleblowers and as survivors of sexual misconduct.

The complaint filed June 4, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California detail accusations against USC’s Dr. Tyndall by 15 more women.

“If the MeToo movement has taught us anything, it’s that there is strength in numbers,” said Elizabeth Fegan, partner at Hagens Berman representing the proposed class of women against USC and Dr. Tyndall. “We applaud the incredibly brave women who have stepped forward to join us in this case and take a stand against systemic abuse and abusers.”

“USC hid Dr. Tyndall’s abhorrent actions for decades, and we’re here to bring USC’s cover-up under the glare of the public eye,” Fegan added. “It is our hope that this lawsuit will expose USC for its blatantly irresponsible behavior that led to the violation of hundreds if not thousands of women over the course of decades, and bring them justice.”

The lawsuit states, “USC violated its female students’ trust by knowingly putting women in the room for treatment by Tyndall, knowing that inappropriate physical contact and violations would occur. In fact, USC nurses, chaperones, and other staff members were regularly present in the examination rooms, observed the inappropriate sexual molestation, and took no steps to stop it as it occurred.”

“Moreover, even as numerous supervisors and administrators became aware of Tyndall’s harmful conduct, USC failed to act to protect its female students by removing Tyndall from his position even though it was clear he was unfit to treat patients,” it adds.

The lawsuit accuses Dr. Tyndall of sexually harassing, abusing, molesting and engaging in wildly inappropriate behavior with female students who sought his medical care at USC’s student health clinic and accuses USC of brazen negligence in failing to stop his violation of female students. Dr. Tyndall oversaw tens of thousands of female patients during his time at USC, and the university knew of his behavior since at least the 1990s but failed to take action.

One nurse at USC stated she repeatedly expressed concerns about Tyndall to clinic administrators, “but they seemed uninterested.”  It wasn’t until the nurse went to USC’s rape crisis center in 2016 and spoke to its executive director that the investigation that led to Tyndall’s removal began. USC admitted that prior complaints (dating back to 2000) were sufficient to terminate Tyndall, and should have been elevated for “proper investigation.”

According to the complaint, ultimately, in 2017, the university began termination proceedings. However, USC did not contact law enforcement, the attorney general or the medical licensing board, nor did USC inform Tyndall’s patients.

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 in 1985. 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.

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 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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10/04/18: Firm Statement

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 »