A federal judge is likely to approve a $215 million class-action settlement with thousands of former patients of a campus gynecologist at the University of Southern California who has been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Dr. George Tyndall is separately facing criminal charges from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office regarding 16 patients. He has pleaded not guilty and is out on bond as the case proceeds.
In federal court in Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson said he “was inclined to accept” the settlement, The Times reported.
The university’s payouts to about 18,000 women who saw Tyndall at USC will range from a guaranteed minimum of $2,500 to $250,000. The payouts will be given regardless of whether the women formally accused Tyndall of harassment or assault. A panel of experts will decide how much each patient is paid.
In a statement, USC said it was pleased with the decision, calling it a settlement that “provides respectful and confidential relief to Tyndall patients at the student health center and formalizes a broad array of campus reforms.”
Tyndall will not contribute to the settlement, under its terms, nor will he admit liability or wrongdoing. His attorney said Monday that her client continues to deny wrongdoing.
About 800 people opted out of the federal settlement, The Times reported. About 600 of them are part of separate civil lawsuits filed against USC in state court. Lawyers said an additional 30 to 50 women were expected to sue the university soon.
It is not clear when Wilson would formally approve the settlement.
Separately, USC has also agreed to pay up to $25 million in legal fees and other costs to the attorneys representing former patients, the newspaper reported. Wilson would also have to approve those payments.
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