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Girardi | Keese law firm advocating for USC sex abuse victims

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A gynecologist who treated patients at the University of Southern California's student health clinic for nearly 30 years has been terminated amid allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of hundreds of female students and patients. USC is also under fire for failing to take action against Dr. George Tyndall despite receiving complaints about his behavior since as early as 1988. Tyndall was the only full-time gynecologist at USC for 27 years.

To date, nearly 400 women have contacted a USC hotline and many others have contacted local law enforcement offices directly. More than 20 lawsuits have been filed against Tyndall by former patients, and the list is growing as more victims come forward.

Taking legal action

According to attorneys at Girardi | Keese, a renowned law firm in Los Angeles, the lawsuits will demand financial compensation from those responsible - including both the doctor and the University of Southern California. Compensation sought can include:

  • Losses endured by the victims, such as psychological treatment and care
  • Emotional distress suffered by the victims
  • Punitive (punishment) damages, typically awarded for willful misconduct that is especially harmful.

Attorneys claim that this particular type of sexual misconduct by a medical professional can make many women less likely to seek medical care in the future.

There is no time limit for filing claims

Since the Bill Cosby scandal, California no longer limits the amount of time sex crimes that can be filed against an alleged perpetrator. Prior to 2016, victims and police had to comply with a 10-year statute of limitations. This change of law allows USC sex crime victims to pursue justice against Tyndall for the entire duration of his practice at the university's student health center.

USC officials failed to take action amid allegations

Patients submitted numerous complaints over the years to the school, including the director of the health clinic and the university's advocacy office. Even former colleagues expressed concerns regarding his examination methods, particularly his propensity to target young Chinese students who were not familiar with standard American practices and who did not have a good command of the English language.

The university did not take any action on the patients' complaints until a nurse contacted the rape crisis center in 2016, decades after the abuse began. Tyndall was put on administrative leave, receiving pay until his resignation in June 2017. The lawsuits claim that he was paid by the university to leave so it did not have to reveal the results of its internal investigation.

In the wake of the scandal, the following USC employees have been fired or have resigned:

  • Lead clinic doctor Dr. William Leavitt
  • Clinic director Tammie Akiyoshi
  • USC President Max Nikias

Anyone who was mistreated or felt violated during a gynecological exam at USC should contact the hotline set up by the school, the Los Angeles police department or a legal professional.

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