Who is Dr George Tyndall? USC agrees to $852M payout in sex abuse lawsuit involving ex-campus gynecologist
The University of Southern California on Thursday, March 25, agreed to an $852 million settlement for more than 700 women who have accused the college’s longtime campus gynecologist of sexual abuse, lawyers of the victims announced.
The amount is said to be a record for such a lawsuit. The USC has agreed to pay out more than $1 billion, an amount combined with an earlier settlement of a separate class-action suit, for claims against the accused Dr George Tyndall, 74, who worked at the school for nearly three decades.
Who is Dr George Tyndall?
George Tyndall, who has some French ancestry on his mother's side, was born and raised in Plattsburgh, New York, as one of the five children. He attended the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, but discontinued his studies to join the Navy in 1967, during the height of the Vietnam War. While in the Navy, he was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey to study Vietnamese, a language that was in high demand for the American Intelligence efforts during the war He was eventually stationed in Manila in the Philippines, during which time he learned Tagalog.
In 1971, Tyndall was honorably discharged from the Navy and resumed studies at the State University of New York, where he graduated summa cum laude. He returned to the Philippines in 1980 to begin medical school at the University of the East, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. He later transferred to the Drexel University College of Medicine (previously the Medical College of Pennsylvania), whereupon graduation, he was selected for a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser in Los Angeles.
During his residency period, Tyndall focused on preventative care. Upon completion of residency he found an opening for the student health center at the University of Southern California, where he practiced at the Park Health Center and later the USC Engemann Student Health Center. He worked at the university from August 1989 to June 2016, and for the majority of this time, he was the only full-time gynecologist.
Rape, racial discrimination charges
On May 16, 2018, the Los Angeles Times published an article investigating allegations of sexual abuse, which led to hundreds of women coming forward and accusing Tyndall of sexual abuse and racial discrimination. The victims were aged 17 to 29. On June 26, next year Tyndall was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department and charged with 29 felonies related to allegations by 16 women for incidents taking place from 2009 to 2016. The 29 felonies consist of 18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud.
Tyndall was accused of taking improper photographs, including close-up photos of a woman's genitals and full-body pictures, telling a woman a story of the rock guitarist from Megadeth having sex in public on the streets of Chicago, made comments about a woman's sexual past and sexual orientation and other indecent comments on his clients' genitals. An external investigation by MDReview demonstrated that Tyndall had a preference for Asian patients and international students.
Tyndall pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bond. He faces up to 64 years in prison if convicted. He wasn’t suspended until 2016, when a nurse reported him to a rape crisis center, following which the gynecologist was able to quietly resign with a large payout the next year. Tyndall surrendered his medical license in September 2019, records show.