The University of Southern California is facing a half dozen lawsuits from women who say they were sexually victimized by a gynecologist employed by the school.
Dr. George Tyndall, who worked at USC’s student health clinic for almost 30 years, is accused of multiple counts of inappropriate behavior, from touching patients in non-professional ways to asking about their sex life.
Potentially worsening things for the university is the school’s acknowledgement that it had received complaints about Tyndall since the early 2000s and that those were severe enough that he should have been removed from the clinic years earlier. (Tyndall was suspended in June 2016 when a supervising nurse reported him to the campus rape crisis center.)
USC privately worked out a deal that led to the doctor’s resignation, which came with an undisclosed payout. He was not reported to the medical board at the time. Last week, USC admitted that was a mistake.
Those admissions and the history of complaints against Tyndall could put USC at risk for a sizable payout to the women suing the university, legal experts tell the Los Angeles Times. It’s not dissimilar to the case of Dr. Larry Nassar, the sports doctor accused to sexually assaulting hundreds of women, including members of the U.S. Gymnastics team. (He’s currently serving a sentence of 40 to 175 years in prison.)
Michigan State University recently announced a $500 million settlement with 332 women and girls who say they were assaulted by Nassar.
The accusations by patients and admissions by the university, which follow 2017 reports that the medical school dean led a drug-fueled double life, could also lead to major administrative changes at USC. There is a growing call for university president C.L. Max Nikias to step down or be fired.