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$215M sex abuse settlement involving USC doctor calls for payments, reforms

UPI

Feb. 13 (UPI) — A $215 million legal settlement stemming from a class-action lawsuit against a University of Southern California gynecologist has been filed in federal court for approval.

Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at the school from 1989 to 2016, faced accusations from dozens of women that detailed sexual abuse and harassment spanning 30 years. In October, USC agreed in principle to the settlement with several law firms representing the women.

The agreement, which calls for Dr. George Tyndall’s female patients to each receive at least $2,500, was filed Tuesday in federal court. It will also usher in reforms at the university, including the appointment of an independent women’s health advocate and mandatory training on sexual misbehavior for students.

The deal includes opportunities for payouts between $7,500 and $20,000 for patients submitting written testimony, and payments of up to $250,000 if they speak with a claims evaluator.

Tyndall has denied wrongdoing, although the Los Angeles Times reported he is the subject of a criminal grand jury’s consideration of evidence presented by Los Angeles County prosecutors.

The settlement is not without its critics. John Manly, an attorney representing former Tyndall patients, told the Times the settlement “allows USC to keep their secrets, and that does not do a service to anybody.”

The U.S. Department of Education is looking into how USC handled the accusations against Tyndall, who resigned in 2017 with a financial payout and a clean record with the state.

The settlement came as the school faces another lawsuit involving potential sexual misconduct. Filed this week, it targets USC and a former campus doctor and says a group of six gay and bisexual men received unnecessary rectal examinations, either to shame them or satisfy personal sexual desires.

That physician has denied the accusations.

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