Were You a Patient of USC's
Dr. George Tyndall?
It’s Time to Make a Choice
CASE UPDATE: In March 2021, JJS and co-counsel achieved a $842.4M settlement against the University of Southern California (USC) on behalf of women who were sexually exploited during exams performed by former OBGYN Dr. George Tyndall at USC’s Student Health Center. This is the largest known settlement in a sexual abuse case in U.S. history, as well as the largest known personal injury settlement against a university.
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The deadline is fast approaching for you to make an important decision: Should you participate in a pending federal class action lawsuit or pursue your claim as an individual lawsuit in state court?
One federal class action and over 700 individual state lawsuits have been filed against OBGYN Dr. George Tyndall and the University of Southern California (USC) on behalf of women who have alleged they were sexually exploited during exams performed by Dr. Tyndall at USC’s Student Health Center.
Which Option is Best for You?
Whether you should opt into the class action settlement or pursue an individual claim depends on the circumstances of your case. The compensation you are entitled to may significantly exceed the artificial ceilings in the settlement.
- Many victims are deciding that participation in the settlement is not their best option and are opting out of the class action, especially if their experiences with Dr. Tyndall had a significant impact on them.
- The money offered in the settlement for each claim has been criticized as inadequate, compared to the impact this has had on victims’ lives.
- In fact, the settlement is as low as it is because it was negotiated at a time when USC was threatening to dismiss most of the claims via the statute of limitations. USC had the leverage to get a good deal for themselves.
- Now, the statute of limitations is no longer an issue because Governor Newsom has signed a bill (AB1510) that will explicitly permit all state cases against USC and Dr. Tyndall to proceed.
After hearing what our clients experienced and how they have been affected, we have recommended to the vast majority of them to pursue their cases individually. However, there are many for whom we concluded participating in the class settlement would likely serve them better.
It would be wise to consult an experienced lawyer to advise you on your options. We would welcome the opportunity to help you make the right decision.
Why Consult JJS and ASWT?
Janet, Janet & Suggs (JJS), in collaboration with Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos (ASWT), has been on the front lines of advising and representing hundreds of victims of Dr. Tyndall.
- We have been appointed as co-liaison counsel on behalf of over 700 plaintiffs in the individual cases.
- We played an instrumental role in developing the AB1510 bill, which removed USC’s statute of limitations defense, and shepherding it through the legislative process.
A Track Record of Advocacy
JJS is a national sexual abuse law firm that has delivered justice for thousands of women abused by OBGYNs. One such case resulted in a $190 million record-setting settlement against Johns Hopkins Hospital for misconduct by an OBGYN that in many respects mirrored Dr. Tyndall’s abusive behavior.
What is the Alleged Misconduct by Dr. Tyndall and USC?
Many of the abused USC students did not realize they were victimized sexually because Dr. Tyndall led them to believe he was providing medical care that they needed. He even took explicit photographs of women’s genitalia under the guise of it being medically necessary.
The LA Times, which exposed Dr. Tyndall’s abusive behavior, reported that his “unprofessional and inappropriate behaviors” included:
- Photographing patients' genitals
- Making inappropriate comments or remarks about patients' bodies, sexual activities, ethnicities and religious beliefs
- Requiring patients to submit to nude "full body" exams
- Inappropriately "probing" patients with fingers during exams
- Inappropriately touching or fondling patients' genitals or bodies during exams
- Other behaviors that fall outside the expected standard of care for gynecologists
USC received numerous complaints of Dr. Tyndall’s sexually abusive behavior as early as 1991, but USC administrators failed to take action and allowed him to continue mistreating his patients for almost 30 years.
It has been widely reported that USC took no steps to stop Dr. Tyndall until investigative reporting brought the matter to light. Even then, USC rewarded Dr. Tyndall with a handsome financial severance package.
Decades of Experience
Richard Serbin of JJS has been a crusader for survivors of clergy sexual abuse for decades. Elise Sanguinetti is the immediate past president of the American Association of Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America). Mike Arias is the president of Consumer Attorneys of California. Andrew S. Janet of JJS is co-chair of the firm’s Sexual Abuse Division; Rita M. Gribko of JJS has over 25 years of litigation experience in civil, family, and criminal practice—most significantly representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse; and Matthew White of JJS advocates for victims that suffered through sexual abuse as children at the hands of religious organizations and in other institutional settings.
Contact JJS or ASWT Today
As a patient, you should be able to trust that the doctors and medical professionals providing you with care are trustworthy, trained, and professional individuals who have been thoroughly vetted and are providing appropriate care, not physicians seeking to manipulate and exploit their patients. For too long, it appears USC allowed accusations and reports of inappropriate behavior and unlawful activity to circulate without taking appropriate action to ensure students were protected.
If you believe you were a victim of Dr. Tyndall, please contact the attorneys at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC or Arias, Sanguinetti, Wang & Torrijos, LLP today. You don’t pay us anything unless and until we recover compensation on your behalf. Any information you share with us is always confidential to the extent permissible by law, and CA law permits victims of sexual assault or abuse to remain nameless. If you were a patient of Dr. Tyndall, don't suffer in silence. Get the justice you deserve today.
The toll-free numbers for our firms are as follows:
Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC: 1-877-692-3862
Arias, Sanguinetti, Wang & Torrijos, LLP: 1-855-481-1020
To ensure that victims of Dr. Tyndall are properly represented, JJS is proud to partner with California attorneys at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP.
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Tyndall Case Milestones
Janet, Janet & Suggs (JJS) partnered with Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos (ASWT) to file another lawsuit on behalf of 25 former USC students alleging sexual abuse by USC OBGYN Dr. George Tyndall. There are now over 800 of Tyndall’s victims who have opted out of the class action that USC negotiated within months of the revelations concerning the conduct of Tyndall and USC.
Due to the sensitive nature of the conduct involved in the complaint, the plaintiffs are identified only as Jane Does 138-162. The plaintiffs are former undergraduate and graduate students who attended USC from the 1980’s through 2017. The timeframe of the allegations contained in the complaint ranges from the late 1980’s until Tyndall’s dismissal – nearly Tyndall’s entire tenure at the USC Student Health Center. Dr. Tyndall was placed on leave by USC in 2016 and permitted to retire, with a significant financial settlement, in 2017.
Like many of the previously filed actions, this complaint alleges Dr. Tyndall used his position as a trusted and credentialed medical professional to commit a series of abusive acts toward his patients, including: forcing his patients to undress completely in front of him while he watched; groping his patients’ breasts; digitally penetrating his patients’ vaginas and anuses, often without wearing gloves and with unwashed hands; photographing his patients’ genitals and naked bodies; and making racist, misogynistic, and sexually-harassing comments to his patients.
Plaintiff 150, who attended USC from 1988-1990, made allegations that go back to the very early years of Tyndall’s time at USC, meaning he began abusing women almost from the moment he stepped on campus.
The lawsuit claims that although USC was made aware of allegations USC actively and deliberately concealed Tyndall’s sexual abuse of female student patients for decades and continued to grant him unfettered sexual access to the young students in his and USC’s care.
“USC’s behavior in this matter is beyond unacceptable, it is disgusting and reprehensible,” said attorney Mike Arias. “USC paid more attention to its own financial gain and chose to protect a sexually deviant doctor instead of thousands upon thousands of women who trusted USC over the course of decades. USC’s conduct empowered Tyndall to be an abusive predator for decades.”
The case is Jane Doe et al. v. University of Southern California, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC715163.
LOS ANGELES, CA/BALTIMORE, MD– July 31, 2018 – Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC (JJS) managing partner Howard A. Janet and Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP (ASWT) managing partner Mike Arias announced today the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of 54 former USC students alleging sexual abuse by USC OBGYN Dr. George Tyndall. This brings the number of former USC students who are seeking justice for the abuse they allegedly endured to 279. Previously, the Janet and Arias Firms filed two class actions against USC and related defendants.
Due to the sensitive nature of the conduct involved in the complaint, the plaintiffs are identified only as Jane Does 3-56. The plaintiffs are former undergraduate and graduate students who attended USC from the 1980’s through 2017. The timeframe of the allegations contained in the complaint ranges from the late 1980’s through 2016 – nearly Tyndall’s entire tenure at the USC Student Health Center. Dr. Tyndall was placed on leave by USC in 2016 and permitted to retire, with a financial settlement, in 2017.
According to media reports and the complaint, the victims allege that Dr. Tyndall used his position as a trusted and credentialed medical professional to conduct improper pelvic exams, including unnecessary probing and digital penetration, as well as to make lewd and racial comments during exams and to take nude photos that he claimed at the time were for medical research.
The lawsuit claims that in credentialing and employing Dr. Tyndall, USC represented to students and the community that he was “safe, trustworthy and of high moral and ethical repute,” – despite the fact that USC received repeated complaints about his conduct from students and staff members. The lawsuit further alleges that USC failed to take necessary and appropriate steps to investigate those complaints and protect students from abuse, which allowed Dr. Tyndall to continue to sexually abuse students.
“It is unconscionable that a world-class institution like USC would ignore repeated red flags and allow Dr. Tyndall to remain in a position where he could continue his abuse of students,” said Mike Arias. “The simple truth is this: USC could have – and should have – prevented hundreds, if not thousands, of students from being abused by Dr. Tyndall if they had simply investigated and acted on the complaints filed by students and professional staff. Given the sheer number of complaints regarding his conduct lodged to the University during Dr. Tyndall’s tenure, USC should have reported him to the appropriate authorities years, if not decades, earlier.”
The allegations against USC and Dr. Tyndall are the latest instances of institutionalized abuse by OBGYNs. Howard A. Janet, one of the attorneys representing Jane Does 3-56, previously was one of the lawyers who spearheaded the $190,000,000 settlement of the class action against The Johns Hopkins Hospital on behalf of approximately 8,000 women who alleged they were sexually abused and illicitly photographed by OBGYN Dr. Nikita Levy. Mr. Janet is currently representing approximately 100 women who were allegedly abused by another OBGYN, who in reality was not a legitimate physician and had fraudulently obtained a medical license. “As far as I am concerned, every time he put his hands on these women, he did so under false pretenses and it constituted a sexual assault,” commented Janet.
“In my view, Dr. Tyndall, just like Dr. Levy, maliciously, methodically and repeatedly violated the sacred trust between a woman and her doctor for his own depraved sexual gratification. And in so doing, he caused unmeasurable pain and irreparable harm to hundreds – if not thousands – of women,” said Janet.
“Since filing the first class action lawsuits in CA State Court against USC in this matter, we’ve been contacted by numerous women who shared their experience with Dr. Tyndall,” continued Janet. “These cases of institutionalized sexual abuse and assault are reaching epidemic proportions. Hopefully, lawsuits like this one will help effect a cure.”
For additional information or to join this litigation, please visit the case information page. Those interested may also contact Howard A. Janet and JJS toll-free at 1-866-971-8095 or Mike Arias and ASWT at 1-855-481-1020. All inquiries are strictly confidential.
ABOUT ARIAS SANGUINETTI WANG & TORRIJOS, LLP
Mr. Arias currently serves as President of the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles and is President-Elect of the Consumer Attorneys of California. His firm has handled hundreds of class action cases across the country, represented millions of class participants and recovered hundreds of millions in damages. In fact, ASWT is one of the few law firms that has actually tried numerous class action cases. Taking such cases to trial is not a common occurrence with most class action attorneys. The firm does not take on a class action unless it is prepared to take it to trial. Arias, Sanguinetti, Wang & Torrijos, LLP has the resources necessary to confront the most complex legal challenges of class action litigation. Knowing that the firm will take such cases to trial is often the most effective way to obtain fair compensation and to ensure that the wrongful conduct of the defendant does not continue.
ABOUT JANET, JANET & SUGGS, LLC
JJS represents plaintiffs in complex, high stakes litigation in the areas of medical malpractice, sexual abuse, fraudulent business practices, pharmaceutical and medical device product liability, qui tam litigation, Federal Tort Claims Act and environmental litigation. The firm has successfully litigated against some the nation’s largest and most prestigious organizations, including the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Penn State University, DuPont, Dow Corning, Baxter Healthcare, Bayer, Wyeth and the Mayo Clinic, among others.
The firm’s practice is national in scope. Whether working solely or hand-in-hand with other law firms, JJS has won verdicts and negotiated settlements exceeding $1 billion. Unlike many firms, the attorneys at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC actually try cases – and have notched record-setting verdicts across the country. This provides JJS the leverage necessary to negotiate record-setting settlements. JJS’s extraordinary in-house medical experts, including a board-certified OBGYN and RN, give the firm an edge in high-stakes cases involving medical malpractice and misconduct by OB/GYNs, as well as enable them to uncover errors other firms may have missed.
Today, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Police Department has raided former USC OB/GYN Dr. George Tyndall’s home and storage unit, executing search warrants in connection with the investigation into the alleged sexual abuse and misconduct of patients under his care. Dr. Tyndall practiced at USC’s Engemann Student Health Center from 1987 until he was suspended in 2016. He claimed to have provided care to “thousands and thousands of Trojan women” during his time at USC.
Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC and Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP filed the first class action lawsuits against the University of Southern California on behalf of thousands of female students who were allegedly sexually abused and illicitly photographed by Dr. Tyndall. Our lawsuits allege that USC received repeated complaints from students and co-workers, but failed to take appropriate steps to investigate those complaints. Finally, in 2016, USC hired an outside firm to investigate Dr. Tyndall’s conduct, according to media reports. The firm, MDReview, is the nation’s only physician-led peer review medical consulting firm. The investigation found that Dr. Tyndall “exhibited unprofessional and inappropriate behavior” and that his pelvic exams were outside “current standards of care.”
Shockingly, it appears USC agreed to enter a “no finding” conclusion related to the investigation, characterize Tyndall’s departure as a resignation, and actually provide him severance pay despite the findings from MDReview’s investigation. USC, in a recent press statement, took the position that it should have reported Dr. Tyndall to the Medical Board of California eight months earlier than it did. Given the multitude of complaints lodged to the University during much of Dr. Tyndall’s tenure, there is a reasonable basis to conclude that USC should have reported him years, if not decades, earlier.
The class representative for each class is not identified because of the sensitive nature of the lawsuits. The class representative in each class is referred to as Jane Doe. Many of the women targeted by Dr. Tyndall were of Chinese or other Asian descent. Also participating in the representation from ASWT is partner Arnold C. Wang, who was born in Taiwan, Republic of China and is fluent in Mandarin.
Since our classes have been filed, hundreds of potential victims have come forward to detail Dr. Tyndall’s pattern of abuse. Several additional lawsuits have been filed, and the U.S. Education Department has launched an investigation into USC’s handling of the allegations.
JJS managing partner Howard A. Janet is no stranger to handling these types of class action cases. He is one of the attorneys who spearheaded the $190,000,000 settlement of the class action against The Johns Hopkins Hospital on behalf of approximately 8,000 women who alleged they were sexually abused and illicitly photographed by OB/GYN Dr. Nikita Levy.
For additional information or to join the class, please visit the case information page at www.jjsjustice.com/usc/. Those interested may also contact JJS toll-free at 1-866-971-8095 or Mike Arias and ASWT at 1-855-481-1020.