51 More Women File Lawsuits Against USC, Former Gynecologist
More than 225 women have filed lawsuits against the former doctor and USC, claiming the school mishandled and ignored allegations of sexual abuse.
Fifty-one more women filed lawsuits against USC and its ex-gynecologist George Tyndall on Monday, adding to the growing list of former and current students who claim they were sexually abused by the doctor.
The lawsuits claim university officials mishandled and ignored accusations that Tyndall sexually abused his patients for nearly 30 years, reports The Daily Trojan.
Back in May, six former students filed lawsuits alleging the Los Angeles school failed to address numerous complaints from clinic staff about Tyndall’s inappropriate behavior.
An investigation by the school into the allegation found evidence supporting the “deeply troubling” allegations against the physician, according to a letter written by USC president Max Nikias, who agreed to step down in the wake of the scandal.
Tyndall was suspended by the school in June 2016 when a supervising nurse reported him to the campus rape crisis center after becoming frustrated that clinic administrators were not taking complaints against him seriously. He was later fired in June 2017.
Seven separate lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the 51 women, six of whom have come forward with their names.
“The USC cover-up of Dr. Tyndall’s abuses is just another example of how colleges and universities protect predators, not students,” Andy Rubenstein, the lawyer representing the women, said in a press release. “A blind eye was turned toward these women’s pleas for help. USC’s inexcusable inaction gave Dr. Tyndall the opportunity to abuse countless more patients over many years.”
On Monday, Rubenstein and several of the women held a press conference to discuss the lawsuits. Rubenstein claimed Tyndall performed unnecessary pelvic exams and “invented diagnoses” to ensure follow-up appointments with his patients.
“I was a virgin at the time that I was raped, so I had never been to a gynecologist before. I had really no idea what to expect,” recalled Heil.
Heil said Tyndall gave her a pelvic exam, although an STD test does not require one. She said a nurse chaperone was in the room when she screamed out in pain as Tyndall allegedly molested her.
“She was just there and she really didn’t do anything until she said she was uncomfortable and left. What was so surprising to me was, ‘You’re uncomfortable? This is happening to me. Why do you get to leave?'” she said.
Another alleged victim, Amanda Davis, was a single mother when she attended USC from 1999 to 2002. Davis claims Tyndall took nude photos of her during their appointment for “research purposes”.
“He started talking about how women’s bodies change when they’re pregnant and then give birth, and how they can get their bodies back to how they were before,” Davis said. “He said he was doing research on that topic and would I mind if he take a picture. At that time, I [was] from a very small country town. I was raised to trust especially authority figures like doctors.”
Now, said Davis, “the ball is really in USC’s court.”
“We’d like them to make a decision to not just stuff this under the rug but to be an example and create a USC standard to not just implement this on campus but with other colleges and institutions as well,” she continued. “Because it’s not just USC. There is stuff going on, a culture of cover-up.”
As of Monday’s filing, more than 225 women have sued Tyndall and the university. The LAPD is also actively investigating at least 30 claims and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched its own investigation in June.
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