The University of Southern California is now facing lawsuits over years of sexual harassment and assault by former USC gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, who was allowed to continue to practice medicine despite multiple complaints by both patients and staff. These lawsuits arise in the wake of the $500 million settlement reached last week with Michigan State University over decades of assaults perpetrated by Dr. Lawrence Nassar on young girls and women.
Far More Dangerous Than “Creepy” Behavior
Nearly 200 faculty members have called for the resignation of USC president, C.L. Max Nikias, and several women have now filed lawsuits alleging that they were abused by Dr. Tyndall over nearly 30 years at the university. The lawsuits also allege that USC knew of his behavior and failed to take any action.
As reported by NPR, “the lawsuits were filed on Monday, less than a week after the Los Angeles Times published an investigation into what it called Dr. George Tyndall’s pattern of alleged “creepy” behavior dating back to the 1990s. Tyndall has denied that he did anything wrong, telling the Times that his exams were thorough but appropriate.”
Sexual Abuse of a Patient by a Physician Constitutes Medical Malpractice
The lawsuits graphically detail how Dr. Tyndall touched female students in inappropriate, medically unnecessary ways, while making sexually suggestive comments about patients’ appearances and the way their genitals felt. He also asked intrusive questions about patients’ sex lives that were not medically related, and he would conduct fully nude exams that were not medically necessary. Like in the case of Dr. Nassar, one woman has alleged that Tyndall inserted his ungloved hand inside her vagina.
The lawsuits reflect that many of the women had never had another gynecological exam, a factor that might have allowed them to evaluate whether his behavior was normal. Others were aware the exams were not normal and avoided Tyndall or complained to health center staff.
The Times reported that some employees at USC were concerned Tyndall was specifically targeting international students from China, who might be even less aware of American medical norms.
Similarities Between Nassar and Tyndall
Like in the case of Michigan State University, USC has admitted that complaints about Dr. Tyndall’s behavior were filed with the university over several years. According to USC, files kept by the health center director showed that Tyndall had been the subject of patient complaints at least eight times between 2000 and 2014, with patients saying he was “unprofessional” and made them “uncomfortable.” Nevertheless, the school says it did not uncover any evidence of criminal behavior. And the university’s provost denies that there was a cover-up.
Many of the women who saw Tyndall have only now started to come forward after following the news coverage of Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse of young women, realizing their experiences were similar. We trust our doctors and cannot begin to imagine that these doctors that we trust our body with are victimizing us for their own sexual desires.
Talk to an Attorney Experienced in Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Attorney Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller currently represents numerous survivors of Larry Nassar’s decades of abuse. Just last week, Michigan State University agreed to pay $500 million to resolve the survivors’ claims. “It looks like we may be seeing the same pattern of assaults and cover-up at USC as we have discovered in the MSU lawsuit, but only time will tell,” Ms. Esser-Weidenfeller reported.
If you were a patient of Dr. Tyndall and you believe that you were sexually assaulted in any form or fashion, please contact Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller at 800-783-0989 to talk about your potential case. All conversations will be strictly confidential and your identity aggressively protected in any subsequent lawsuit. You are not alone.