UCLA to Pay $700M to Settle Former Gynecologist Sexual Abuse Case
This settlement is in addition to millions more previously paid by UCLA to settle claims of sexual abuse by James Heaps.
UPDATE MAY 25, 2022: On Tuesday, the University of California system agreed to pay more than 300 women $375 million who claim they were sexually abused by former UCLA gynecologist James Heaps. That’s in addition to the millions more that has already been paid to victims. The total amount now paid is nearly $700 million. The total amount is a record settlement paid by a public university and is about $200 million more than what was paid by Michigan State in 2018.
Original February 10, 2022 article:
Los Angeles, California – The University of California announced on Tuesday it will pay $243.6 million to settle allegations that former UCLA gynecologist James Heaps sexually abused hundreds of women.
According to the university, Heaps was employed by UCLA as an ob-gyn from 2014 to 2018. He also worked on a part-time basis at the UCLA student health center from approximately 1983 through June of 2010.
The lawsuit alleged UCLA ignored years of complaints and concealed abuse by Heaps. The disgraced gynecologist has also been charged with 21 counts of sexual offenses involving seven women. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
The school will pay 203 plaintiffs who alleged sexual misconduct by Heaps. The conduct alleged by the plaintiffs included medically unnecessary groping and fondling of patient breasts, digital vaginal penetration and sexually stimulating patients.
Tuesday’s settlement is in addition to a $73 million settlement made by the school last year. In that case, more than 100 female plaintiffs claimed they were sexually abused by Heaps from 1983 to 2018.
UCLA has denied any wrongdoing and said in a statement that “The conduct alleged to have been committed by Heaps is reprehensible and contrary to the University’s values.”
This is just the latest settlement by large universities for alleged sexual abuse by doctors employed by the schools.
Last month, the University of Michigan settled with more than 1,000 former, mostly male students who said they were abused by Dr. Robert Anderson. Anderson worked at the school from 1966 through 2003 as the school’s sports doctor. The settlement amount was $490 million.
Last year, the University of Southern California agreed to pay $852 million to 710 women who accused former student health center gynecologist George Tyndall of sexual abuse. In 2018, Michigan State University reached a settlement of $500 million with 332 women and girls who allege they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.