Details of USC Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

The first survivor’s lawsuit was filed on May 21, 2018, in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of four “Jane Doe” plaintiffs, alleges that Tyndall, who was the only full-time gynecologist at USC’s Student Health Clinic for many years, used his position to sexually abuse patients on multiple occasions. The complaint, which names Tyndall and the University of Southern California, alleges that the USC clinician engaged in a multitude of inappropriate and sexually abusive conduct with scores of young female patients, including requiring that patients strip naked for routine gynecologic exams, groping breasts and other body parts, and digital vaginal penetration without medical justification, and often without surgical gloves or other medically appropriate barriers against infection.

Complaints to USC Officials Began in the 1990s

According to press reports, Tyndall was allowed to “resign” from his post as part of a “settlement” offered to him by USC in the wake of complaints about his inappropriate conduct. The Los Angeles Times reported that complaints to USC officials began in the 1990s, when co-workers alleged he was improperly photographing students’ genitals. In the years that followed, patients and nursing staff were said to have accused him again and again of “creepy” behavior, including touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies.

The Time’s Investigation also uncovered an internal USC inquiry that determined that Tyndall’s behavior during pelvic exams was outside the scope of current medical practice and amounted to sexual harassment of students. The university did not inform Tyndall’s patients. Nor did USC report him at the time to the Medical Board of California, the agency responsible for protecting the public from problem doctors. More troubling is the fact that USC apparently never contacted law enforcement, which was required under California law whenever health care providers become aware of possible sexual assault.

According to press reports, USC administrators have now admitted that Tyndall “should have been forced out of his job years ago.”

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Public and private entities that negligently hire, supervise or retain employees who they know or reasonably should suspect pose a danger to others are legally responsible for any injuries caused by their employees’ conduct, including sexual assault and abuse. Survivors are entitled to compensation for damages stemming from physical injuries as well as past, current, and future emotional distress.

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