LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A federal judge in Los Angeles signaled Monday he would grant final approval of a $215 million class-action settlement between the University of Southern California and some of the women who claimed they were sexually abused by George Tyndall, a former campus gynecologist accused of misconduct.
The settlement, barring any appeals, would provide all class members — about 18,000 former patients who received women’s health services from Tyndall — compensation of $2,500 and up. Patients who were willing to provide further details about their experience could be eligible for additional compensation of up to $250,000.READ MORE: Magnitude-3.6 Earthquake Rattles San Gabriel Mountains North Of Rancho Cucamonga
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson said he was inclined to approve the hiring of Irma E. Gonzalez, a retired judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, as special master to oversee the money awards.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision to order final approval of the federal class-action settlement,” USC said in a statement to City News Service. “This settlement provides respectful and confidential relief to Tyndall patients at the student health center and formalizes a broad array of campus reforms.”
Tyndall and USC have also been sued in state court by about 600 alleged victims, many of whom claim they were inappropriately fondled or photographed by Tyndall under the guise of gynecological exams. Many also accused him of making sexually charged comments during the exams.READ MORE: Man Killed, 2 Women Wounded In Shooting In Bellflower Smoke Shop
Alleged victims contended that the university received numerous complaints of Tyndall’s alleged sexually abusive behavior dating back to at least 1988, and actively and deliberately concealed Tyndall’s actions.
Attorneys for some victims have argued that following an internal investigation of complaints against Tyndall in 2016, the university paid Tyndall a substantial financial settlement so he would quietly resign three years ago.
USC officials have denied any cover-up, and Tyndall continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Tyndall is also facing criminal charges alleging he sexually abused 16 patients at the campus clinic where he practiced for decades. He pleaded not guilty in July to 29 felony counts in Los Angeles Superior Court.MORE NEWS: Pfizer Says Third Dose May Be Effective Against Omicron Variant
USC has said it has put new protocols in place at its Student Health Center to ensure any complaints are investigated and resolved by appropriate university officials and authorities. Additionally, the university said it has hired female, board-certified physicians and introduced patient education materials about sensitive examinations.