The University of Southern California continues to reckon with sexual assault allegations leveled against its former campus gynecologist George Tyndall. On Thursday, two new lawsuits were filed on behalf of 93 additional women who claim the university purposefully concealed the abuse—which brings the total number of Tyndall’s accusers to about 500.
The new claims come after 51 women came forward back in July. They joined six women who had alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that USC had failed to protect them from Tyndall’s abuse and mishandled complaints about his behavior, as well as dozens of others, bringing the total number of accusers at that point to more than 200. Following backlash, USC’s former president C.L. Max Nikias announced he would step down.
Tyndall is now retired after working at the university for almost three decades. According to CNN, accusations of misconduct against him date back to 1990 and include allegations from women who say he abused or harassed them under the guide of medical treatment at the university’s student health center. The AP reported that Tyndall’s license was suspended in August.
A group of approximately 20 women announced the two new lawsuits at a press conference on Thursday, and some of them spoke publicly about their experiences.
“I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust,” Dana Loewy, a woman who alleges that Tyndall assaulted her in 1983, was quoted as saying in Time.
Following the press conference, USC announced their agreement to a tentative settlement of $215 million on Friday, which, according to NPR, could make anyone who received treatment from Tyndall eligible to receive a minimum of $2,500 (victims who allege Tyndall abuse them could receive up to $250,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.) USC’s interim president, Wanda Austin, said in a public statement that its Board of Trustees supported the settlement.
“By doing so, we hope that we can help our community move collectively toward reconciliation,” Austin said. “I regret that any student ever felt uncomfortable, unsafe, or mistreated in any way as a result of the actions of a university employee.”
The settlement requires court approval, and lawyers for accusers have said that the sum is not enough.
“The only guaranteed number in this case is $2,500—$2,500 won’t even get you a 50-yard-line seat at a USC football game, let alone compensate somebody for being sexually assaulted by their doctor when they were 18 or 17,” said John Manly, an Irvine-based attorney who represents 180 accusers.