U.S. university agrees to 852-mln-USD settlement in sexual abuse lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES, March 25 (Xinhua) — The University of Southern California (USC) on Thursday announced an 852-million-U.S.-dollar settlement to resolve lawsuits from hundreds of women over sexual abuse by the university’s former gynecologist George Tyndall.

“USC and the 710 women who filed civil cases in Los Angeles Superior Court involving George Tyndall have reached a global agreement that is fair and reasonable,” said the university.

This is reportedly the largest sexual abuse settlement in lawsuits against any university all across the United States.

Combined with another 215-million-dollar class-action settlement approved by a Los Angeles federal judge in 2019, the university has agreed to pay over 1 billion dollars for claims against Tyndall.

Tyndall had worked as the only fulltime gynecologist at the USC student clinic for 27 years. According to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, complaints about Tyndall’s repeated misconduct toward young female patients started in early 1990s, including improperly photographing students’ genitals, touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies.

The university said the settlement “will end this litigation in state court” and the USC Board of Trustees had ratified the settlement.

“I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community. 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,” said USC President Carol L. Folt in a statement.

“This historic settlement came about through the bravery of hundreds of women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced,” attorney John Manly, whose firm represented 234 of the plaintiffs in the main settlement, was quoted as saying by a local news outlet City News Service.

“The enormous size of this settlement speaks to the immense harm done to our clients and the culpability of USC,” the attorney added.

The Los Angeles Times, which first exposed the scandal in 2018, has reported that there was fear that the gynecologist was targeting the university’s growing population of Chinese students in recent years, as some of those Chinese students had a limited knowledge of the English language and American medical norms.

USC is a leading private research university located in downtown Los Angeles. A total of 46,000 students were enrolled in the 2020-2021 academic year, including more than 6,000 from China.

According to Deng Law Center in Los Angeles, at least three former Chinese students of the university joined the lawsuits against USC in 2018. Enditem

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