Mar 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

USC to pay $852 million in lawsuits involving gynecologist accused of sexual abuse

Photo of the USC campus at dusk, with the Trojan statue in the center

Photo: David McNew via Getty Images

The University of Southern California agreed to shell out $852 million to settle lawsuits with hundreds of women who alleged the school failed to adequately address students' reports of a gynecologist's sexual abuse.

Why it matters: The university already agreed to pay more than $200 million in a 2018 settlement also involving sexual abuse allegations against former USC gynecologist George Tyndall. The payments altogether exceed $1 billion — a "landmark case for higher education," Washington Post writes.

  • A total of 710 women have pursued civil lawsuits alleging Tyndall in California courts, per the Post.

What they're saying: The agreement is "fair and reasonable," USC said in a statement.

  • “I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community," USC President Carol Folt said. "We appreciate the courage of all who came forward and hope this much needed resolution provides some relief to the women abused by George Tyndall."
  • "Our institution fell short by not doing everything it could to protect those who matter to us most – our students," USC Board of Trustees chair Rick Caruso added. "We are steadfast in our commitment to assuring that these steps have the intended impact and reflect real change."
  • "It is my sincere hope that this settlement is just the first step in serving the full measure of justice on George Tyndall and his enablers at USC," Audry Nafziger, who alleged that Tyndall sexually assaulted her when she was a law student, said in a statement according to the Post.

The big picture: Tyndall currently awaits trial on criminal charges and has denied all allegations.

  • He was a physician at USC's student health center for more than 30 years. He was arrested in June 2019.
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