Women former students at the University of Southern California are taking action after a Los Angeles Times report revealed that a gynecologist continued to work at the school despite being repeatedly accused of misconduct.
Lucy Chi, a former graduate student at the school and an alleged victim, sued Dr. George Tyndall, USC and its board of directors in a class action lawsuit Tuesday.
In a report published last week, L.A. Times exposed Tyndall for allegedly touching patients inappropriately during exams, making suggestive comments and photographing the genitals of students, among other disturbing actions. He allegedly attacked Chinese students, some of whom had never had a gynecological exam before and were not familiar with US medical standards. Although several complaints were filed against him during his decades of employment at the university, he was allowed to resign in 2016 with severance pay in hand.
Attorney Elizabeth Fegan of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, the law firm that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the victims, told HuffPost that she expects the lawsuit to force Tyndall and the university to take responsibility for the alarming revelations.
"Our goal is for the hundreds, if not thousands, of women who were raped by Dr. Tyndall to have a voice and to be compensated for the horrible acts they experienced," he said. "Our goal is to hold the USC responsible for trying to eliminate this series of decades-old abuses of its reputation and to silence these women"
Dr. Tyndall prepared these women and knew they were vulnerable. He looked for all the opportunities to take advantage of them.
Elizabeth Fegan, attorney for plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Dr. George Tyndall and USC
In a statement provided to HuffPost , the university said that it was "aware of the trials" and that it devised an action plan to respond. "We focus on ensuring the safety and welfare of our students and providing support to those affected," the statement continued.
By announcing the plan on the school website, USC President C.L. Max Nikias wrote that he and the school's senior leadership team are trying to "review our core values, review our existing employment policies and improve our university culture, as well as implement a major restructuring of several of the university's operations."
The lawsuit accuses Tyndall, the school and the board of trustees of the USC of gender violence, gross negligence, civil aggression and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit also accuses them of violating Title IX, the California Higher Education Equity Act and other laws.
According to the complaint, Chi visited the school's student center in 2012 and had an appointment with Tyndall, said that a companion would not be available for a while and asked if he would allow an exam without one, and Chi agreed and then it was subjected to various uncomfortable actions.
The lawsuit says that Tyndall penetrated her with her fingers, "she moved her fingers in and out of the vagina" and "she took off her gloves and began to squeeze her breasts, caressing her atypically" that was "very different from the way doctors use their pads to detect irregularities in a woman's breasts "
After the examination, an attendant appeared and told the doctor and the patient that he had been waiting outside, and asked Tyndall why, according to the lawsuit.
"Tyndall replied that Chi had given him permission to proceed without an escort, as if the violation of the protocol and the standard of care was Chi's fault," the complaint says. "Chi felt shaky and unsure if what she had experienced was normal, Chi felt violated and ashamed, she did not return with him"
The lawsuit also details the ways in which allegedly He tried to win the sympathy of Chinese students, such as keeping a map of China in his office, encouraging patients to point to their province of origin, keeping a bamboo plant in the office and occasionally sharing details of their relationship with his wife. Philippine.
"Dr. The fact that Tyndall emphasizes Chinese students further highlights the predatory nature of his actions," said Fegan. "Dr. Tyndall prepared these women and knew they were vulnerable, looked for every opportunity to take advantage of them."
Sung Yeon Cho tomorrow, executive director of the Asian National Forum of Asian Pacific Women, told HuffPost that the way Tyndall allegedly treated Asian women was particularly distressing, given that the group has been fetishized and stereotyped as sexual objects and "Submissive geishas." They are constantly dehumanized, he explained, and their fetishization contributes to the culture of rape and encourages sexual assault.
Tyndall had a career of almost 30 years in college, with allegations of misconduct since the 1990s. Fegan said the school could not handle the situation properly and prevent more women from being subjected to his behavior.
"USC should have immediately terminated Dr. Tyndall's employment, notify parents and students and should have informed Dr. Tyndall to the Medical Council of California," he said. "USC should not have spared any expense to end Dr. Tyndall's behavior and prevent more women from being abused and harassed"
Chi said he felt forced to draw his experience, and that of many others, to light after the Times report came out.
"Now that this news has broken, like me, hundreds of women are realizing that they were victims, and now, we are choosing to speak against USC and its cover-up of Dr. Tyndall's behavior," he said. Chi in a statement provided to HuffPost. "Since USC did not take action, we are." This lawsuit will blame USC for its deafening silence. "
Others have also taken legal action against the school since the Times published its report, and four other alumni have sued the school. University, arguing that the school covered up the alleged misconduct of Tyndall.
The alleged actions of Tyndall and the university have caused outrage among students and faculty. of the faculty signed a letter asking Nikias to resign.
"In his recent letter to the university community, President Nikias referred to the actions of gynecologist George Tyndall as a 'lack of trust, "says the faculty letter, referring to a message from him." With all due respect, President Nikias' actions and omissions amount to an abuse of trust. He has lost the moral authority to lead the University and, in addition, to lead the investigation of institutional failures that allowed this misconduct to persist for several decades. "
Several petitions have also been launched, who also demand that Nikias be fired or left.