USC agrees to $852 million payout in sex abuse lawsuit


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The University of Southern California has agreed to an $852 million settlement with
more than 700 women who have accused the college’s longtime campus gynecologist of sexual abuse, the
victims’ lawyers and USC announced Thursday.
It’s believed to be a record amount for such a lawsuit. When combined with an earlier settlement of a
separate class-action suit, USC has agreed to pay out more than $1 billion for claims against Dr. George
Tyndall, who worked at the school for nearly three decades.
Tyndall, 74, faces 35 criminal counts of alleged sexual misconduct between 2009 and 2016 at the
university’s student health center. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.
Hundreds of women came forward to report their allegations to police but some of the cases fell outside
the 10-year statute of limitations, while others did not rise to the level of criminal charges or lacked
sufficient evidence to prosecute. Still, he faces up to 64 years in prison if convicted.
"I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community," USC
President Carol L. Folt said in a statement. "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."
Folt took office in 2019 as part of an overhaul of USC leadership amid the unfolding gynecologist and
college entrance bribery scandals.
(Editor’s note: This story includes discussion of sexual assault. If you or someone you know needs help,
please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.)
The $852 million civil settlement is believed to be the largest sexual abuse settlement against any
university, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, as well as the largest personal injury settlement
against any college or university. The lawyers say no confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements were
Tyndall’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
In 2018, Michigan State University agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women
and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar. That settlement was considered the
largest at the time, far surpassing the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims
by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse.
Separately, USC earlier agreed to pay $215 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that applies to about
18,000 women who were patients of Tyndall’s. The individual payouts to those victims range from $2,500
to $250,000, and were given regardless of whether the women formally accused Tyndall of harassment or
assault. The final payouts are expected to be issued this month.
Allegations against Tyndall first surfaced in 2018 in an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, which
revealed that the doctor had been the subject of complaints of sexual misconduct at USC dating back to
the 1990s.
He wasn’t suspended until 2016, when a nurse reported him to a rape crisis center. He was able to quietly
resign with a large payout the next year.
Tyndall surrendered his medical license in September 2019, records show.

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