On Monday, 51 more women filed lawsuits against the University of Southern California for the way it handled sexual abuse allegations against longtime staff gynecologist George Tyndall. This latest round of lawsuits brings the total number of students and alumnae suing the school over the case to 225, according to the Los Angeles Times.
There could be additional suits coming: “More than 400 people have contacted a hotline for former patients of Tyndall,” reports the Times.
Tyndall, who served as the school’s only full-time staff gynecologist, is accused of sexual abuse and harassment dating back to the 1980s—including inappropriately photographing student’s genitals, making sexualized commentary about patient’s bodies, and explicitly referencing sexual intercourse while inserting his fingers during vaginal exams. He’s accused of targeting Chinese students, some of whom might have been unfamiliar with American gynecological norms. Despite repeated complaints, he was allowed to continue practicing for years.
One of the new suits brought by alum Amanda Davis alleges that Tyndall commented on her body while inserting “his ungloved, uncleaned fingers” inside her for an exam. The Times reports:
The suit contends that during the same appointment, Tyndall told Davis, who had recently given birth, that he was writing a book “on how women were able to get back into shape” and persuaded her to let him take full body nude photographs for what he said were research purposes.
There is no record of Tyndall publishing a book or research study. It is unclear what became of the pictures, a fact that Davis said in an interview left her “disgusted.”
Not too surprisingly, it appears the school is interested in a speedy settlement “without depositions and trials.” As the Times points out, “settling the cases could cost USC and its insurers hundreds of millions of dollars.” But not settling could cost the university even more—and not just monetarily.