USC agrees to $215 million settlement in California gynecologist case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The University of Southern California has reached a $215 million proposed settlement with former patients of a gynecologist at the school who was accused of sexual abuse, the president of the university said in a letter on Friday seen by Reuters.

The settlement centers on the conduct of George Tyndall, who practiced at USC until he was suspended in 2016 after a complaint from a health worker accusing him of making sexually inappropriate comments to patients. Hundreds of women have since then accused Tyndall of sexual abuse.

In August, then USC president C.L. Max Nikias stepped down after an outcry from faculty and students, who said the downtown Los Angeles school was slow to act over complaints against Tyndall.

Tyndall resigned from USC last year and has since lost his license to practice medicine in California.

His attorney could immediately be reached for comment.

The settlement was reached in a federal class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of hundreds of current and former students at USC, according to a statement from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP representing women in the lawsuit.

Tyndall subjected patients to inappropriate touching, unnecessary penetration with his hands, lewd comments and other inappropriate conduct, the law firm said.

USC’s new President Wanda Austin, in a letter to the university community on Friday, said women who received health services from Tyndall will be eligible for a minimum of $2,500 under the settlement. Those who provide details on their experiences under his care could receive up to $250,000 more in compensation, the letter said.

“I regret that any student ever felt uncomfortable, unsafe, or mistreated in any way as a result of the actions of a university employee,” Austin wrote.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Gabriella Borter in New York; editing by Lisa Shumaker

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