In order to resolve lawsuits from the hundreds of women who claim that the school failed to respond sufficiently to accusations that gynecologist George Tyndall sexually abused patients at its student health center, the University of Southern California has agreed to pay out an $852 million settlement to the 710 women who pursued civil lawsuits against the university. This is the second time that USC has paid hundreds of millions in a settlement to women who were patients of the allegedly abusive Tyndall—the first was in 2018, when the university paid $240 million in a federal class action settlement. In total, USC has now paid over $1 billion in legal settlements related to Tyndall’s alleged sexual misconduct.
The accusations of abuse against Tyndall first became public knowledge in 2018, when a Los Angeles Times report revealed that he’d been allowed to continue practicing at the university for decades, despite records of complaints about his conduct that date back to the ‘90s. Those complaints, which not only came from university students but also from the nurses and medical assistants who witnessed his exams, include allegations of Tyndall photographing students’ genitals, making sexualized comments about his patients’ bodies, and referencing sexual intercourse while inserting his fingers into patients’ vaginas. Staff members who worked with Tyndall also accuse him of specifically targeting Chinese students at the university.
Tyndall, who is now 74, worked at the USC student health clinic for almost three decades, and during that time treated tens of thousands of students—many of who were teenagers who had never seen a gynecologist before. In June of 2019, Tyndall was arrested and charged with 29 felonies related to his alleged sexual misconduct. He pled not guilty to all the criminal charges, and is still awaiting trial, which is expected to begin later this year.