Campus Reform | University of Southern California pays $1.1 billion to settle sex abuse claims

University of Southern California pays $1.1 billion to settle sex abuse claims

The University of Southern California agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a civil suit resulting from sex abuse claims.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit against the university following a former USC gynecologist being arrested and charged with sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court approved a deal allowing the University of Southern California to pay $852 million to settle a lawsuit accusing a gynecologist once employed by the university of sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls. 

The university finalized a similar settlement in 2019, paying $215 million to the victims of Dr. George Tyndall in an agreement that was criticized by their lawyers for being "way too minimal" and absolving the university of its potential role as an accessory to his crimes. 

"We still don't know when did USC first know, how often were they warned, what administrators were involved," said attorney John Manly at the time. 

So far, the University of Southern California has agreed to pay a record $1.1 billion in settlements resolving civil claims of sexual abuse. 

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On June 26, 2019, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrested Tyndall outside his home in Los Angeles, charging him with "18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud," according to a report by NBC News. More than 700 women, some as young as 17, accused Dr. Tyndall of sexually assaulting them at the Engemann Student Health Center (now USC Student Health) between 2009 and 2016. 

USC President Carol Folt said she hopes the money will help them move on. 

"I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community," she said, "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."  

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Attorney John Manly wasn't as conciliatory, insisting that USC became aware of Tyndall's abuse of young girls years earlier than it will acknowledge publicly, and calling any claim to the contrary "a damn lie." 

"There are many in the administration and the board of trustees who don't belong at that university, he said on Thursday, "Not all, but some...they put the prestige, fundraising and the university brand ahead of the well-being of students for 30 years."

Follow the author of this article: Dion J. Pierre