Attorneys representing former USC students filed eight additional lawsuits against USC Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging gross sexual misconduct and sexual assault on the campus by Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at the university’s student health center for nearly 30 years.
The latest filings follow 28 similar lawsuits filed by plaintiffs’ attorney John Manly for a total of 36. But the overall number of lawsuits filed against USC is much higher, with additional cases being brought by other attorneys.
The suits allege 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. The suits further allege that following an internal investigation of complaints against Tyndall in 2016, the university paid Tyndall a substantial financial settlement so he would quietly resign, and USC could continue to actively conceal the myriad of complaints they had received of Tyndall’s sexually abusive behavior.
“This latest filing includes a statement by our client that she complained about Dr. Tyndall’s sexual abuse in 1989 and was told by a USC therapist to `manage her anger by hitting her bed with a tennis racket,”‘ Manly said.
Another client reported that Tyndall sexually assaulted her while making racist comments, according to Manly.
“None of the women ever would have met Tyndall if the university had acted upon the first written complaint they received in 1988,” Manly said.
Manly also said the Tyndall case has disturbing similarities to the case against disgraced Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar, who molested women and girls under the guise of performing medical treatments. The case resulted in a $500 million settlement.
In an open letter to faculty and staff in May, USC Provost Michael Quick said top administrators did not know about the complaints until 2016.
“It is true that our system failed, but it is important that you know that this claim of a cover-up is patently false,” Quick wrote. “We would never knowingly put students in harm’s way.”
USC established a hotline for complaints about Tyndall and has offered free counseling to his former patients.