The University of Southern California said Friday that it would pay $215 million to settle claims of sexual abuse and harassment by a school gynecologist, but lawyers for hundreds of the accusers say it’s not enough money and the university has yet to fully disclose what it knew about the doctor’s behavior.
The tentative settlement, which needs a judge’s approval, will provide compensation ranging from $2,500 up to $250,000 to women who say Dr. George Tyndall abused them between 1988 and 2016, USC Interim President Wanda Austin said in a statement .
About 500 current and former students have now made accusations against Tyndall and filed various lawsuits. They contend he routinely made crude comments, took inappropriate photos, forced them to strip naked and groped them under the guise of medical treatment.
Tyndall spent about three decades as a USC staff gynecologist before retiring last year after a university investigation concluded there was evidence that he sexually harassed students during exams.
Tyndall has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. Los Angeles police and Los Angeles County prosecutors are reviewing the claims.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 36 women who have accused Tyndall, said in a statement that the amount of money under the proposed settlement is “way too minimal” for what some of the women endured.
Manly also criticized the proposed settlement as failing to hold USC accountable and called it an effort to cap future monetary damages.
“We still don’t know when did USC first know, how often were they warned, what administrators were involved, was there criminal conduct?” Manly said. “Our clients, more than anything, want those answers and people held accountable, not because it helps their case but to protect the future women at USC.”
Lee said the school tried to create a system that would allow women to decide how much to engage in the process.
Attorney Mike Arias, who represents 80 accusers, criticized the speed of the proposed settlement, saying he and other attorneys were expecting USC to disclose more information.
“USC may quell the depth of the anger and upset by getting hundreds of other victims to join the settlement, but it’s not going to be over,” Arias said, adding that he and other attorneys will fight the settlement’s approval.
On Thursday, 93 women who say Tyndall abused or harassed them announced the latest lawsuit against USC, saying it ignored decades of complaints.
Dana Loewy said Tyndall assaulted her during an exam in 1993.
“I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust,” she said.