At least five women and former USC students have filed lawsuits against former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall for alleged sexual misconduct.
Lucy Chi, a former graduate student and alleged victim, filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday against Tyndall, USC, and the board of trustees. Four other women also filed a lawsuit on Monday against Tyndall and the school. The school is being accused of letting Tyndall work at the student health center for almost 30 years despite being repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct from patients, “deliberately concealing” the sexual abuse taking place.
Chi’s lawsuit accuses Tyndall, USC and the board of trustees of gender violence, gross negligence, civil battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violating Title IX, the California Equity in Higher Education Act and other laws.
Chi recounted her own experience in the lawsuit, according to Huffington Post. In 2012, she had an appointment with Tyndall with the request of a chaperone. When she arrived, Tyndall allegedly told her a chaperone wouldn’t be available for some time and asked if she would go ahead with the examination without one. Chi agreed.
The lawsuit alleges that during that exam, Tyndall penetrated Chi with his fingers and “moved his fingers in and out of her vagina” and “took off his gloves and began squeezing her breasts, fondling her in an atypical way” that was “very different than the way physicians typically use their finger pads to check for any irregularities in a woman’s breasts.”
When the examination was finished, the chaperone Chi requested appeared and told her and Tyndall that she had been waiting outside the whole time. Chi asked Tyndall why this had happened.
“Tyndall replied that Chi had given him permission to proceed without a chaperone, as if the violation of protocol and standard of care was Chi’s fault.”
“Chi felt shaky and unsure if what she had experienced was normal. Chi felt violated and embarrassed. She did not go back to him,” according to the complaint.
Chi’s suit also details how Tyndall would target and endear himself to Chinese students, keeping a map of China in his office to question Chinese students on and sharing details of his relationship with his wife who was Filipina.
Attorney Elizabeth Fegan, whose law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro filed the lawsuit on behalf of the victims, hopes the lawsuit will force Tyndall and USC to accept responsibility for the disturbing allegations of abuse.
Fegan told Huffington Post:
“Our goal is for the hundreds, if not thousands, of women who were violated by Dr. Tyndall to have a voice and to be compensated for the horrific acts they experienced.
“Our goal is to hold USC accountable for trying to scrub this decades long series of abuse from its reputation and silence these women.
“Dr. Tyndall’s singling out of Chinese students further highlight the predatory nature of his actions.
“Dr. Tyndall groomed these women and knew they were vulnerable. He sought every opportunity to take advantage of them.”
USC has since responded to the latest turn of events with a statement to Huffington Post that they are “aware of the lawsuits.”
“We are focused on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our students and providing support to those affected.”
The school posted an action plan in response.