For more than 30 years, the University of Southern California employed Dr. George Tyndall as the University gynecologist. During that time, Tyndall sexually abused hundreds of USC students who trusted his medical guidance and care. The University first received allegations of Tyndall’s misconduct in the 1990s but failed to take action against him. Tyndall continued to work at USC until he was finally suspended in 2016.
Allred, Maroko & Goldberg represented 72 of the 702 victims involved in a lawsuit against USC for failing to protect its students. In total, USC will pay more than $1.1 billion to Tyndall’s victims. This is the largest sexual abuse settlement in history. Plaintiffs will be awarded anywhere from $250,000 to several million dollars for their trauma. On average, each of the women Allred, Maroko & Goldberg represented will receive approximately $1.2 million.
Decades Of On-Going Abuse
It’s unknown exactly how many female students suffered sexual abuse as Tyndall’s patients. While more than 700 were directly involved in this lawsuit, many victims fell outside of the 10-year statute of limitations, and many others may not have reported their abuse.
While each victim’s story is unique, the experiences below were reported by some of the women who came forward:
- Photos were taken of the women’s genitalia
- Photos of other patients’ naked body parts were shown to the victims
- Inappropriate sexual comments were made to the women
- Unnecessary pelvic exams were completed with ‘unwashed’ and ‘ungloved’ hands
- Unnecessary vaginal and anal examinations were conducted
- Patients were forced to undress in front of the doctor
In addition to the civil lawsuit, Tyndall faces 35 counts of criminal sexual misconduct that took place between 2009 and 2016. He is currently free on bond and awaiting trial. If convicted, Tyndall could receive up to 64 years in prison.
Preying On His Patients’ Naivete
As a university doctor, many of Tyndall’s patients were between the ages of 18-22 and had no experience with gynecological exams. They were unsure of what to expect and had difficulty identifying when his examinations deviated from standard protocol.
Sadly, Tyndall should have been prevented from harming more students after the initial allegations were made against him in the 90s. The extent of his abuse did not become public until the Los Angeles Times investigated his conduct in 2018. By that time, it was too late.
USC’s lack of action allowed countless female students to suffer sexual abuse under Tyndall’s care. This record-setting settlement shows that USC recognizes its fault in failing to report Tyndall and to protect its students. The settlement also serves as a warning to other universities that harboring abusers will not be tolerated in the future.