In re: USC Student Health Center Litigation Settlement
USC Student Health Center Litigation Settlement
Case No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW-GJS

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • A Settlement has been reached with the University of Southern California and its Board of Trustees ("USC") and with Dr. George M. Tyndall (collectively “Defendants”) in a class action lawsuit. Plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit that Dr. Tyndall assaulted, abused, sexually harassed, committed medical malpractice related to a Women’s Health Issue against, or otherwise acted inappropriately towards, female patients while he was a gynecologist at the USC Student Health Center and that USC failed to respond appropriately to Dr. Tyndall's conduct. The Defendants deny all charges of wrongdoing and liability.  Both sides have agreed to the proposed Settlement to avoid the costs and risks of a lengthy trial and appeals process.

    The Settlement establishes a $215 million Settlement Fund for women who were seen for treatment by Dr. Tyndall at the USC Student Health Center between August 14, 1989 and June 21, 2016. As part of the Settlement, USC will also implement institutional changes to protect students and prevent future abuse.

  • The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides have agreed to a Settlement to avoid the costs and risks of trial and appeals. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Class.

  • In a class action, one or more Plaintiffs called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and all others with similar claims. This group of people is called the “Class” and the people in the class are called “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

    This lawsuit is In re: USC Student Health Center Litigation, Case No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW (C.D. Cal.). The judge is Stephen V. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Please do not contact the Court or the Court Clerk’s Office for help with the Settlement process. They do not have any additional information.

  • You are a Class Member if you were seen for treatment by Dr. Tyndall at the University of Southern California Student Health Center during the period from August 14, 1989 to June 21, 2016:

    (a) for Women’s Health Issues, (“Women’s Health Issues” includes but is not limited to any issue relating to breast, vaginal, urinary tract, bowel, gynecological, or sexual health, including contraception and fertility. A list of Women’s Health Issues is available on this website by clicking here.);

    or

    (b) whose treatment by Dr. Tyndall included an examination by him of her breast or genital areas;

    or

    (c) whose treatment included the taking of photographs or videotapes of her unclothed or partially clothed body.

    If you believe you are a Class Member based on the definition above, but you did not receive a Settlement Notice containing a Claimant ID Number (at the top of the email or in the upper left-hand corner of each page of the hard-copy Notice), you must complete the Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form.

  • If you received a Settlement Notice containing a Claimant ID Number (at the top of the email or in the upper left-hand corner of each page of the Notice), you are a pre-identified Class Member.

    If you received a Settlement Notice that did not contain a Claimant ID Number (at the top of the email or in the upper left-hand corner of each page of the hard-copy Notice), you are a potential Class Member, and you must complete a Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form to be part of the Class.

    If you did not receive a Settlement Notice by email or mail, you may still be a Class Member if you are a woman who was seen for treatment by Dr. Tyndall at the USC Student Health Center during the period from August 14, 1989 to June 21, 2016, and you must complete a Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form to be part of the Class.

  • The Settlement Notice was sent to every woman who was a student at USC (undergraduate or graduate) at any time between 1989 and 2016, in order to make sure all potential Class Members received notice of the Settlement.

    All Class Members have a legal right to know about this proposed Settlement and their options before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.  

    It is critical that Class Members read the entire Settlement Notice carefully because their legal rights are affected by whether they act or don’t act. That said, given the traumatic nature of the abuse Class Members may have suffered, please take breaks as you read and seek support if you need it.  While it may be difficult, please persevere in reading the entire Settlement Notice carefully so that you can arrive at a clear understanding of your legal rights.

  • Recognizing the traumatic nature of the conduct at the heart of this case, the Settlement was designed to compensate Class Members for the harms they endured, while allowing individuals to select an award tier and participation level based on how and how much information they feel comfortable sharing with the Settlement Administrator.

    The Tiers have nothing to do with the supposed severity of what happened to you; which Tier you choose is solely up to you based on the how much information you feel comfortable providing, and in what way.

    Tier 1 – Guaranteed Minimum $2,500 Payment

    Every Class Member will receive an initial, minimum $2,500 payment, simply by virtue of being a Class Member, in addition to being eligible for Tier 2 or Tier 3 payments. Those who are pre-identified through USC's existing health center records will be automatically mailed a Tier 1 payment check for $2,500 once the Settlement is effective. Those Class Members who could not be identified through USC's records must submit a signed Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form to receive their $2,500 payment.

    Tier 2for those who only feel comfortable sharing their story in writing.

    Class Members have the option to submit a written Claim Form describing their experience with Tyndall, the impact to them, and the harm they suffered. Class Members willing to provide a written account of their experiences are eligible for a Tier 2 payment, for which there is a range of $7,500 and $20,000, subject to Pro Rata Adjustment.  

    Tier 3 for those who feel comfortable being interviewed by a trained female specialist, in addition to submitting a written claim form.

    Class Members willing to provide information about their experience and its impact in the form of an interview with a female specialist trained and experienced in speaking compassionately with survivors, in addition to the written Claim Form, are eligible for Tier 3 payments between $7,500 and $250,000, subject to Pro Rata Adjustment.  

    Statement of Settlement Class Membership Forms and Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claim Forms must be received online, via email, or postmarked by mail no later than November 8, 2019.

  • Yes, unless you received a Notice with a Claimant ID Number (at the top of the email or in the upper left-hand corner of each page of the hard-copy Notice). If you have a Claimant ID number, you do not need to Submit a Statement of Class Membership Form.

  • If you are not sure whether you are in the Class, you can ask for free help and more information by contacting the Settlement Administrator by email at info@USCTyndallSettlement.com or by phone toll-free at 1-888-663-1718.

    More details about the Class, its claims, and the Settlement can be found in the Amended Settlement Agreement and other documents available on the Important Documents page of this website.

    If you are interested in obtaining a copy of your USC Student Health Center medical records, you may contact the USC Student Health Center directly at https://studenthealth.usc.edu/requesting-medical-records to request them at no cost to you. According to USC, its policy is to retain medical records for a minimum of 10 years; however if you received care before 2008 they may still have a record of your visit dates or other information. Please note, however, that you are not required to obtain your medical records from USC in order to make a claim in the Settlement.

  • All claims and submissions in the Settlement will be kept strictly confidential by the Settlement Administrator and Panel. In particular, neither USC nor Tyndall will know the identities or claim information of any claimant.

    If you have a medical lien, some information about your claim may need to be provided to the lienholder for the purposes of resolving that lien. Class Counsel obtained an order from the Court called a Qualified Protective Order that authorizes disclosure of information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) for purposes of identifying and resolving any potential medical liens that may be asserted against Settlement Class Members’ Claim Awards. Certain claim information is also required by California law to be provided to Defendants’ insurers, and the insurers will keep the information strictly confidential.

    Once the claims process concludes, the Settlement Administrator and Special Master will destroy all materials submitted during the claims process or return them to the claimant upon their request.

  • Federal District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson, of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is overseeing the Settlement. Please do not contact the Court or the Court Clerk’s Office for help with the Settlement process. They do not have any additional information.

  • The Court appointed an independent Settlement Administrator, JND Class Action, to conduct various tasks including implementation of the Amended Settlement Agreement.

    Importantly, all the specialists and experts who make up the team administering and evaluating the Settlement claims have been specially trained in communicating with victims of trauma and harassment. Should you choose to engage with the Settlement program by submitting a Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form and/or Tier 2 or Tier 3 Claim Form, they will ensure your experience is as safe and compassionate as possible, and that you will be heard.

  • The Parties have asked the Court to appoint a Special Master to administer and adjudicate the Claims Review Process. The Court has decided that it will not appoint the Special Master until after final approval of the Settlement. This FAQ will be updated once the Court has appointed the Special Master.

  • This independent (non-USC) individual, to be selected jointly by the parties and approved by the Court, will serve a three-year term. The Advocate will: (a) receive complaints of improper sexual or racial conduct reported by any patient, student, and/or personnel at the Student Health Center; (b) confirm that all such complaints are investigated by either the USC’s Office of Professionalism and Ethics and/or the Office of Equity and Diversity and/or Title IX Officer; and (c) ensure USC compliance with changes required by the Settlement and to report, as appropriate, any failures of this process to USC’s Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and Professionalism. If the Advocate believes the requirements and goals of the Settlement are not being sufficiently addressed by USC, she can raise those concerns to Class Counsel, the Special Master, and ultimately, the Court, for resolution.

  • Class Counsel has selected Nancy Cantalupo to serve as the Independent Consultant / Task Force Member. 

    Ms. Cantalupo has extensive knowledge and experience with best practices for  prevention of and response to sexual assault and misconduct on university campuses; research and authorship of 17 scholarly essays, articles, and book chapters on these subjects; and nearly 15 years as a higher education administrator, including nearly eight years directing a campus women’s resource center, six years as an academic dean, adviser, and member of the Dean’s staff for a top-15 law school, and six months as a member of the Dean’s staff at a second law school. Ms. Cantalupo also served for nine months as Associate Vice President for Equity, Inclusion & Violence Prevention at a large higher education professional association, acting as the association’s subject matter expert on gender-based violence and other civil rights issues. In 2017, Ms. Cantalupo was asked to write Standards of Practice for higher education institutions’ comprehensive prevention and responses to gender-based violence by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence.

    During her six years as an Assistant Dean, she worked closely with students, faculty, and administrators on setting and implementing academic policies and assisted student victims of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in a variety of ways, including representing them in internal school disciplinary proceedings and finding counsel to assist them in obtaining civil protection orders. As the nearly eight-year director of the Georgetown University Women’s Center, she also co-chaired the Sexual Assault Working Group, engaging in a complete overhaul of the university’s sexual violence prevention and response systems. Because of these experiences, as well as her public policy work (discussed below), the nation’s largest association for Student Affairs professionals in higher education, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (“NASPA”), created an Associate Vice President position for her in which she provided subject matter expertise on campus sexual harassment and violence to the association and its 14,000 members. 

    Through these various positions and her research activities, she has extensively researched or worked directly with victims and their advocates in over a hundred cases. Her expertise on this subject has been repeatedly sought in recent public policy discussions and federal lawmaking activities related to campus sexual violence. She has consulted extensively with the Obama-era White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and several U.S. Senators’ and Congresspersons’ staffs regarding existing and proposed legislation on campus sexual violence, including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”). She also served as a Primary Negotiator in a 2014 Negotiated Rulemaking convened by the U.S. Department of Education to write new regulations implementing changes to the Clery Act made by the Violence Against Women Act of 2013. In addition, she testified before the Maryland House of Delegates regarding a legislative proposal on which she was consulted by Delegate Jon Cardin and was asked by the office of the Attorney General of Virginia to testify before the Virginia legislature during the 2015 session where at least 33 bills related to sexual assault had been proposed. These activities have not only utilized her existing expertise but have enhanced it further as they have introduced her to and given her an opportunity to work with other national experts and higher education professionals who are “first responders” to crises involving student harassment and violence.

    In her role as Independent Consultant / Task Force Member, Ms. Cantalupo will be put on the USC Task Force responsible for conducting a wide-ranging climate survey of USC students as well as existing USC policies and procedures for the disclosure, reporting, and response to sexual violence on campus, and make recommendations of changes to implement in light of the survey results. The report and recommendations of the Task Force will be released publicly to the USC community.

    Ms. Cantalupo was selected by, and will be compensated by, Class Counsel, not USC. If Ms. Cantalupo believes the requirements and goals of the Settlement are not being sufficiently addressed by USC, she can raise those concerns to Class Counsel, the Special Master, and ultimately, the Court, for resolution.

    If you would like to contact Ms. Cantalupo, you can do so via email at USCIndependentConsultant@gmail.com.

  • The Settlement Administrator was appointed by and is overseen by the Court.

  • Monetary Compensation

    Defendants will pay $215 million to settle the lawsuit. This fund will be used to compensate Class Members with payments ranging from $2,500 (the guaranteed minimum payment) to $250,000 (or more, if there is a Pro Rata Increase).

    Institutional Changes at USC

    The Settlement also requires USC to implement sweeping institutional changes designed by experts to ensure that the sort of abuse at issue in this case can never happen again at USC. These changes include implementation of university-wide policies to protect students and prevent abuse and sexual violence on campus, as well as policy and procedure changes at the USC Student Health Center. These include:

    • Increased scrutiny and monitoring of health center employees, including pre-hiring background checks, credential verification, and annual education and performance reviews;
    • Improved health center patient practices, including updated sensitive exam practices and allowing students to select a physician based on gender;
    • New methods for collecting information about potential misconduct, including through the solicitation of patient feedback and implementation of plain-language notice for recognizing and reporting sexual harassment and gender-based violence;
    • Development of new training programs for all USC students and staff designed to prevent sexual misconduct and sexual assault;
    • Appointment of an Independent Women’s Health Advocate. This independent (non-USC) individual, to be selected jointly by the parties and approved by the Court, will serve a three-year term. The Advocate will: (a) receive complaints of improper sexual or racial conduct reported by any patient, student, and/or personnel at the Student Health Center; (b) confirm that all such complaints are investigated by either the USC’s Office of Professionalism and Ethics and/or the Office of Equity and Diversity and/or Title IX Officer; and (c) ensure USC compliance with changes required by the Settlement and to report, as appropriate, any failures of this process to USC’s Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and Professionalism. If the Advocate believes the requirements and goals of the Settlement are not being sufficiently addressed by USC, she can raise those concerns to Class Counsel, the Special Master, and ultimately, the Court, for resolution;
    • Appointment of an Independent Consultant, selected and compensated by Class Counsel, and having expertise in university best practices related to prevention and response to sexual assault and misconduct, who will be put on the USC Task Force responsible for conducting a wide-ranging climate survey of USC students as well as existing USC policies and procedures for the disclosure, reporting, and response to sexual violence on campus, and make recommendations of changes to implement in light of the survey results. The report and recommendations of the Task Force will be released publicly to the USC community. If the Independent Consultant believes the requirements and goals of the Settlement are not being sufficiently addressed by USC, she can raise those concerns to Class Counsel, the Special Master, and ultimately, the Court, for resolution.

    Additional information about the progress of the implementation of these changes can be found here.

  • If you’re a pre-identified Class Member and do nothing and the Settlement receives final approval by the Court, you will receive a Tier 1 payment from the Settlement, and you will be bound by the Court’s final judgment and the release of claims detailed in this Settlement.

    If you are a potential Class Member and do nothing and the Settlement receives final approval by the Court, you will not receive any payment from the Settlement but you will give up the right to sue Defendants about the claims in this case as you will be bound by the Court’s final judgment and the release of claims detailed in this Settlement. 

    If you do not receive a Settlement Notice by email or mail, you may still be a Class Member. If you are a Class Member and do nothing and the Settlement receives final approval by the Court, you will not receive any payment from the Settlement and you will give up the right to sue Defendants about the claims in this case as you will be bound by the Court’s final judgment and the release of claims detailed in this Settlement. 

  • Statement of Settlement Class Membership Forms and Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claim Forms must be received online, via email, or postmarked by mail no later than November 8, 2019.

  • You do not need to have a record of having seen Dr. Tyndall to participate in the Settlement. Due to the passage of time, many Class Members will not have records of having seen Dr. Tyndall; the Settlement was designed with this in mind and therefore will not penalize any Class Member for lacking such records.

    If you received a Notice with a Claimant ID Number (at the top of the email or in the upper left-hand corner of each page of the hard-copy Notice), that means USC’s health center records indicate you saw Dr. Tyndall. 

    However, because USC’s records are not complete, there are many women who saw Dr. Tyndall who will not receive Claimant ID numbers. If you did not receive a Claimant ID number, you need to submit a Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form

    If you are interested in obtaining a copy of your USC Student Health Center medical records, you may contact the USC Student Health Center directly at https://studenthealth.usc.edu/requesting-medical-records to request them at no cost to you.  According to USC, its policy is to retain medical records for a minimum of 10 years; however if you received care before 2008 they may still have a record of your visit dates or other information. 

    If you would like to obtain your medical records ahead of November 8, 2019, please submit your request no later than Friday, October 25, 2019.  Please note, however, that you are not required to obtain your medical records from USC in order to make a claim in the Settlement.  If you have submitted your claim form timely on or before November 8, 2019, and you subsequently receive requested records from USC after November 8, 2019, you can still add those records to your claim by uploading them via the claims portal or mailing them to JND at the address below.

    Alternatively, if you would like to authorize the Claims Administrator to take care of requesting and receiving your records from USC for inclusion in your claim file, you must return an Authorization For Disclosure of Health Information directly to JND by mail at USC Student Health Center Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91233, Seattle, WA 98111-9333.

  • The deadline to submit a Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form with credible evidence of Class Membership is November 8, 2019

  • Each Class Member has the option to submit an online or written Claim Form describing her experience, the impact to her, and/or the damages she suffered. She can submit as much or as little information as she prefers. The three-member claims Panel will review that Claim Form and may submit additional questions to a claimant to be answered in writing.

    For a Tier 3 claim, in addition to the written Claim Form describing her experience, the impact to her, and/or the damages she suffered, Class Members will be interviewed by a female specialist trained and experienced in speaking compassionately with survivors regarding the Settlement Class Member's experience and its impact on her.

    No documentation other than the Claim Form is required. However, if you have it, you may also submit additional documentation in support of your claim. Some examples could include: a calendar showing entries for the dates of your appointments with Tyndall, a diary where you wrote about your experience, an affidavit written statement from someone who you told about what Tyndall did or said, invoices from therapy sessions that you went to because of your experience with Tyndall, etc.

  • It’s okay if you don’t remember everything or can’t answer every question on the Claim Form.  We understand the Claim Form can seem intimidating, but it simply was intended to be as comprehensive as possible; it is not a list of requirements. We understand that time has passed and memories can be uneven.  Just do your best to include everything you do remember and all the ways it has impacted you throughout your life, big and small.  Err on the side of being over-inclusive; if in doubt about whether to include some detail or some effect the trauma had on you, include it.

    If you feel comfortable, consider making a Tier 3 claim and providing an interview along with your Claim Form. The interview will be non-adversarial, conducted by a female specialist who is trained and experienced in speaking compassionately with survivors. It will not be a cross-examination. Sometimes telling your story in the interview context can help you to remember more or describe more fully than you would just writing out the answers. Because of the schedule set by the Court, Tier 3 interviews will not begin until January 2020 at the earliest.

  • No documentation other than the Claim Form is required. However, if you have it, you may also submit additional documentation in support of your claim. Some examples could include: a calendar showing entries for the dates of your appointments with Tyndall, a diary where you wrote about your experience, an affidavit from someone who you told about what Tyndall did or said, etc. Additional information may help in determining your Claim Award but will not necessarily guarantee a higher amount.

  • If you are interested in obtaining a copy of your USC Student Health Center medical records, you may contact the USC Student Health Center directly at https://studenthealth.usc.edu/requesting-medical-records to request them at no cost to you.  According to USC, its policy is to retain medical records for a minimum of 10 years; however if you received care before 2008 they may still have a record of your visit dates or other information. 

    If you would like to obtain your medical records ahead of November 8, 2019, please submit your request no later than Friday, October 25, 2019.  Please note, however, that you are not required to obtain your medical records from USC in order to make a claim in the Settlement.  If you have submitted your claim form timely on or before November 8, 2019, and you subsequently receive requested records from USC after November 8, 2019, you can still add those records to your claim by uploading them via the claims portal or mailing them to JND at the address below.

    Alternatively, if you would like to authorize the Claims Administrator to take care of requesting and receiving your records from USC for inclusion in your claim file, you must return an Authorization For Disclosure of Health Information directly to JND by mail at USC Student Health Center Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91233, Seattle, WA 98111-9333.

  • Yes. If you need to change or add information provided in your Claim Form, you may send the information to the Settlement Administrator to add to your claim file by email at info@USCTyndallSettlement.com or by mail at USC Student Health Center Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91233, Seattle, WA 98111-9333.

  • No further action is required from you at this time.

    Because the Court has decided that it will not appoint the Special Master until after final approval of the Settlement, the claims review process will not begin until at least January 2020 (the fairness hearing, where the Court will decide final approval, is scheduled for January 6, 2020).

    Once the Court has appointed the Special Master, the claims review process will begin, your Claim Form will be reviewed, and you may be contacted with follow-up questions. If you filed a Tier 3 Claim, you also will be contacted at that time about scheduling your Tier 3 Interview.

  • Yes. This Settlement provides a choice to Class Members as to how – and how much they want to participate. In order to be eligible for the broader range of compensation in Tier 3, a Class Member must provide an interview in addition to her Claim Form. The interview will be non-adversarial, conducted by a female specialist who is trained and experienced in speaking compassionately with survivors.  It will not be a cross-examination. The purpose of the interview is information-gathering: just as speaking to someone on the telephone provides a richer informational context than emailing with them, the interview is intended to provide the Panel with a fuller sense of your story.

  • Tier 3 participants will be privately interviewed by a female specialist trained in communicating with survivors with sensitivity and compassion.  

    You will not need to travel to participate in the interview; it will be by telephone or videoconference and will be scheduled as best as possible to fit into your schedule. If English is not your preferred language, we can arrange to have the interview conducted in your preferred language. 

    The interview will be non-adversarial, and will essentially cover the same ground as the Claim Form. The purpose of the interview is information-gathering: just as speaking to someone on the telephone provides a richer informational context than emailing with them, the interview is intended to provide the Panel with a fuller sense of your story. It will not be a cross-examination. Sometimes telling your story in the interview context can help you to remember more or describe more fully than you would just writing out the answers. 

    Because the Court has decided that it will not appoint the Special Master until after final approval of the Settlement, the interview process will not begin until at least January 2020 (the fairness hearing, where the Court will decide final approval, is scheduled for January 6, 2020).

    Once the Court has appointed the Special Master, this FAQ will be updated with more detailed information about the interview process. When the Special Master is ready to begin interviews, all Tier 3 claimants will be contacted about scheduling their interviews. If, at that time, you decide you do not want to participate in an interview, that’s ok – your claim can then be changed to a Tier 2 claim (eligible for a narrower range of $7,500 to $20,000) and proceed based on the Claim Form you already submitted.

  • Because the Court has decided that it will not appoint the Special Master until after final approval of the Settlement, the interview process will not begin until at least January 2020 (the fairness hearing, where the Court will decide final approval, is scheduled for January 6, 2020).

    When the Special Master is ready to begin interviews, all Tier 3 claimants will be contacted about scheduling their interviews.

  • Yes, you can check the status of your claim here.

  • The Settlement has a three-tier payment structure based solely on how - and how much - information you feel comfortable sharing with the Settlement Administrator.

    The Tiers have nothing to do with the supposed severity of what happened to you; which Tier you choose is solely up to you based on the how much information you feel comfortable providing, and in what way.

    Tier 1  Guaranteed Minimum $2,500 Payment

    Every Class Member will receive an initial, minimum $2,500 payment, simply by virtue of being a Class Member, in addition to being eligible for Tier 2 or Tier 3 payments. Those who are pre-identified through USC's existing health center records will be automatically mailed a Tier 1 payment check for $2,500 once the Settlement is effective. Those Class Members who could not be identified through USC's records must submit a  signed Statement of Settlement Class Membership Form to receive their $2,500 payment.

    Tier 2for those who only feel comfortable sharing their story in writing.

    Class Members have the option to submit a written Claim Form describing their experience with Tyndall, the impact to them, and the harm they suffered. Class Members willing to provide a written account of their experiences are eligible for a Tier 2 payment, for which there is a range of $7,500 and $20,000, subject to Pro Rata Adjustment.  

    Tier 3for those who feel comfortable being interviewed by a trained female specialist, in addition to submitting a written claim form.

    Class Members willing to provide information about their experience and its impact in the form of an interview with a female specialist trained and experienced in speaking compassionately with survivors, in addition to the written Claim Form, are eligible for Tier 3 payments between $7,500 and $250,000, subject to Pro Rata Adjustment.  

    The amount of money you will receive also depends on any legally enforceable liens on your Claim Award.

    Statement of Settlement Class Membership Forms and Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claim Forms must be received online, via email, or postmarked by mail no later than November 8, 2019.

  • After the Court grants final approval of the Settlement and any appeals are resolved in favor of the Settlement (i.e. the “Effective Date”). The earliest possible Effective Date would be January 20, 2020. 

    Upon the Effective Date, all Tier 1 payment checks will be sent out. 

    Tier 2 and 3 Claim Award payments will not go out until all Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claims have been reviewed and Claim Award amounts allocated by the Panel, and any Pro Rata Adjustment amount calculated and applied by the Settlement Administrator. If a Pro Rata Increase is applied, supplemental Tier 1 payments reflecting the Pro Rata Increase will go out along with Tier 2 and 3 payments.

    Timing updates will be provided on this website and can also be obtained by contacting the Settlement Administrator. Please do not contact the Court directly as they do not have information.

  • Every Class Member will receive a guaranteed minimum Tier 1 payment of $2,500. 

    For Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claims, the three-member Panel will determine Claim Award amounts within the dollar ranges for each Tier.

    The three-member Panel includes the Court-appointed Special Master as well as an OB/GYN and a forensic psychologist selected by the Parties in consultation with the Special Master.

  • Yes, a Class Member can ask the Special Master to reconsider their Tier 2 or 3 Claim Award. The Special Master's decision on appeal is final and cannot be appealed further. 

  • In exchange for participating in the Settlement, Class Members give up the right to sue the Defendants on their own for claims that Tyndall assaulted, abused, sexually harassed, committed medical malpractice related to a Women’s Health Issue against, or otherwise acted inappropriately towards, female patients while he was a gynecologist at the USC Student Health Center, and that USC failed to respond appropriately to Dr. Tyndall's conduct. Class Members will also be bound by any decisions by the Court relating to the Settlement.  (If Class Members do not wish to give up their right to sue the Defendants, they must exclude themselves from (opt-out of) the Settlement.)

    Participating in the Settlement does not mean you are agreeing with USC and Tyndall that they did nothing wrong. The Plaintiffs’ position is – and always has been – that Tyndall assaulted, abused, sexually harassed, committed medical malpractice related to a Women’s Health Issue against, or otherwise acted inappropriately towards, female patients while he was a gynecologist at the USC Student Health Center, and that USC failed to respond appropriately to Tyndall's conduct. You are not giving up that position or opinion by participating in the Settlement.  Similarly, you are not giving up your right to speak publicly about Tyndall, USC, or the Settlement. There is no “gag provision” in the Settlement; you are free to speak publicly about your experience and/or your participation in the Settlement. 

    If you have any questions, you can talk to Class Counsel free of charge or you may talk to your own lawyer (at your own expense). 

  • Pro Rata Adjustments will be used to ensure all of the Settlement Amount (less Administrative Expenses) goes to Class Members.

    After all Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claims have been received and reviewed by the Panel and Claim Award amounts allocated by the Panel, the Pro Rata Adjustment amount will be calculated by the Settlement Administrator by comparing the total sum of all Claim Awards with the total amount remaining in the Settlement Fund. (There will be less than $215 million in the Fund because Administrative Expenses will have been paid out of the Fund prior to the pro rata calculation).

    If the sum of the Claim Awards is less than the amount remaining in the Settlement Fund, there will be a Pro Rata Increase applied to all Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Claim Award amounts, which means those Claim Awards will all be increased by the same percentage. The percentage increase will be enough to make the sum of the Claim Awards equal the amount of money in the Settlement Fund, or to increase all Claim Award amounts by 50%, whichever comes first. Therefore, the maximum amount claimants could receive would be $3,750 for Tier 1, $30,000 for Tier 2, and $375,000 for Tier 3.

    If the sum of the Claim Awards is more than the amount remaining in the Settlement Fund, there will be a Pro Rata Reduction applied to all Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claim Award amounts, which means those Claim Awards will all be decreased by the same percentage. (There will be no decrease of the Tier 1 Claim Awards.) The percentage decrease will be enough to make the sum of the Claim Awards equal the amount of money in the Settlement Fund, or to decrease the Claim Award amounts by 25%, whichever comes first. Therefore, the lowest possible amount a claimant could receive under the Settlement would be $2,500 for Tier 1 (i.e., no reduction) and $5,625 for Tier 2 and Tier 3 (i.e., 25% reduction of lowest possible Tier 2 or 3 Claim Award).

    The illustration below is provided to demonstrate the calculation of the Pro Rata Adjustment. For the purposes of the illustration, it is assumed that 15,000 Class Members will be eligible to receive the $2,500 Tier 1 payment. Of those 15,000, the example assumes that 4,000 Class Members or approximately 25% will file either a Tier 2 or a Tier 3 claim; 3,000 of those will file Tier 2 claims and receive an average award of $15,000 and 1,000 will file Tier 3 claims and receive an average award of $125,000. These assumptions result in the following calculations:

    Calculation to Determine Pro Rata Adjustment Amount:

    Settlement Fund* $210 million
    Aggregate Award Amount $197.5 million
    Percentage Difference 6% Increase

    *This represents the Settlement Fund as of the date of the pro rata calculation, by which point the Settlement Fund will have been reduced to pay for Administrative Expenses incurred up to that date per Sections 2.2, 2.34, and 2.35 of the Amended Settlement Agreement. Solely for the purposes of this example, we have reduced the Settlement Fund by $5 million for Administrative Expenses.

    Calculation to Apply Pro Rata Adjustment:

    15,000 Tier 1 x ($2,500 + 6% = $2,650) $39.75 million
    3,000 Tier 2 x ($15,000 + 6% = $ 15,900) $47.7 million
    1,000 Tier 3 x ($125,000 + 6% = $ 132,500) $132.5 million
    Less Tier 1 Offset for 4,000 Tier 2 and 3 claimants who already received a $2,500 Tier 1 payment ($10 million)
    Total Aggregate Award Amount Plus 6% Pro Rata Increase: $209.95 million

    If fewer Class Members are eligible to receive the automatic Tier 1 payment, fewer Class Members file Tier 2 or 3 claims, and/or the average Tier 2 and 3 Claim Award amounts are smaller than what is assumed and estimated in the above example, the Pro Rata Increase to the Tier 1, 2 and 3 Claim Award amounts would be larger. Conversely, if more Class Members are eligible to receive the automatic Tier 1 payment, more Class Members file Tier 2 or 3 claims, and/or the average Tier 2 and 3 Claim Award amounts are larger than what is assumed and estimated in the above example, then the Tier 2 and 3 Claim Award amounts may receive a Pro Rata Reduction.

  • A Lien is a right through which someone claims a legal obligation to withhold payment from a Settlement Class Member’s Claim Award under applicable federal or state law. The entity claiming the Lien is called a lienholder.

    A Medical Lien is the most likely type of Lien to be claimed against an Award involving a personal injury. A medical lien can come about when an insurer (such as Medicare, Medicaid, Military, and/or others) pays for medical services and/or prescription drugs related to injuries following your appointment with Tyndall, such as physical pain/injuries or emotional distress. If your Claim Award includes compensation for any such injury or emotional distress, your insurer may be entitled to be paid back from your Claim Award. The payment to your insurer includes only medical expenses related to your injuries and emotional distress following your appointment with Tyndall.  For example, if you are awarded compensation for depression, medical expenses to treat such depression may need to be paid back to your insurer, but medical expenses for an unrelated broken arm would not be subject to a medical lien.

    The Claims Administrator will act on your behalf to resolve any Liens asserted by Medicare Parts A and B, Medicaid, and any known Medicare Part C or Part D plans. For other provider liens, such as Private Plans, you will receive additional information upon review of your Claim Form.

    If you or the Settlement Administrator identifies a potential Lien asserted, and the Settlement Administrator confirms the validity and amount of such Lien(s), we are required to deduct those amounts from your Claim Award.

  • Dr. Tyndall will contribute toward the Settlement Amount any insurance proceeds paid on his behalf as a result of any policy that covers any portion of the claims asserted in the Litigation. While it is true that Tyndall’s contribution is coming from his insurance coverage and not from his bank account, that is not something that could be controlled here. Civil litigation cannot instruct a defendant to pay out of a certain account or funds – all it can require is that money is paid.

  • The Pro Rata Adjustment is intended to address this issue by adjusting award amounts to ensure that earlier-filed claims don’t exhaust the Fund and deprive later-filed claims.

  • Under no circumstances will any of the $215 million be returned to USC or Tyndall. The Pro Rata Adjustment is intended to address this issue by adjusting award amounts so that the entire Settlement Fund is used. All efforts will be made to divide remaining funds amongst Class Members; a last resort will be to distribute funds to appropriate cy pres recipients if the Court finds that appropriate.

  • Yes. Any appeal of Settlement approval will delay payments to Class Members until the appeal(s) are resolved. No payments will be distributed until the Settlement becomes effective, which can only occur once the Settlement receives final approval from the Court and all appeals, if any, are resolved.

  • The Court has already preliminarily approved the Settlement.

    The Court will hold its final fairness hearing on January 6, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. at the United States District Court, Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, 350 W. 1st Street, Courtroom 10A, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

    The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional direct notice to you. If there is a change, we will update this FAQ to reflect the new date and time.

    At the final fairness hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate under the rules governing such Settlements. If there are objections or comments, the Court will consider them at that time and may listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement at or after the hearing.

  • The Court has appointed the below lawyers, known as Class Counsel, to represent the Class Members in connection with the Settlement. You can contact Class Counsel, confidentially and at no cost to you, and they will help you with any questions about your claim. If you want to be represented by a lawyer other than Class Counsel, you may hire one at your own expense.
     

    Steve Berman
    HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
    1201 Second Avenue, Suite 2000
    Seattle, WA 98101
    Phone: 206-623-7292
    Email: USCSettlement@hbsslaw.com

    Annika K. Martin
    LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN and BERNSTEIN LLP
    250 Hudson Street, 8th Floor
    New York, NY 10013
    Phone: 212-355-9500
    Email: akmartin@lchb.com

    Elizabeth A. Kramer
    GIRARD SHARP LLP
    601 California Street, Suite 1400
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    Phone: 415-981-4800
    Email: ekramer@girardsharp.com

  • After final approval, Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve attorneys’ fees and incurred expenses up to $25 million to compensate them for their services in this Litigation. The Court may award less than the amount requested. Any attorneys’ fees and expenses that the Court approves will not come out of the Settlement Amount but will be paid separately by the Defendants.

    When Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses is filed, it will be posted on the Important Documents page on this website.  Class Counsel expect to file their motion within 2 weeks after the final fairness hearing currently set for January 6, 2020.  Please check this website regularly after the final fairness hearing if you wish to review Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses.  You will have an opportunity to comment on this fee request. The deadline to object to Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses will be 30 days after it is filed with the Court and posted to this website.

    If you are represented by a lawyer other than Class Counsel, you are responsible for paying that lawyer's fees and/or costs.

  • The Settlement includes women who saw Tyndall at any time during his tenure at USC. This is one of the benefits of the Settlement. Participation in the Settlement avoids the risks of litigation, including that USC and Tyndall will be able to challenge individual lawsuits for being filed too late (i.e., outside of the statute of limitations).

  • The Settlement is not impacted by those proceedings. Class Members who have filed individual lawsuits – state or federal – are free to continue their individual lawsuits if they opt out of the Settlement. Nothing about this Settlement affects or impedes the ability of plaintiffs with individual lawsuits to conduct discovery or litigate their cases. Similarly, nothing about this Settlement affects or impedes the ability of the LAPD or other law enforcement to conduct their investigation and prosecution of Tyndall. Finally, nothing about this Settlement affects or impedes the ability of news media outlets to investigate and report on Tyndall or USC.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have at the final fairness hearing, but Class Members may attend at their own expense if they wish to.

  • Class Members may attend the final fairness hearing, and may ask to speak, if they wish to, but they are not required to do so. Who may speak at the hearing is subject to the Court’s discretion. Class Members cannot speak at the final fairness hearing if they request exclusion from the Settlement.

  • If you are a Class Member and you have objections to any aspect of the Settlement, you may express your views to the Court by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a larger Settlement—the Court can only approve or deny the Settlement the parties have reached. If the Court denies approval of the Settlement, no payments from the Settlement Fund will be made and the litigation will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.

    If you wish to object to the Settlement, you must do so in writing. All written objections and supporting papers must: 

    1. list your name, address, and telephone number;
    2. clearly identify the master case name and number (In re USC Student Health Center Litigation, No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW (C.D. Cal.));
    3. state whether the objection applies only to the objector, to a specific subset of the Class, or to the entire Class, and state with specificity the grounds for the objection;
    4. state whether the Settlement Class Member intends to personally appear and/or testify at the final fairness hearing;
    5. include the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or assisting the Settlement Class Member, including any counsel who may seek compensation for any reason related to the Settlement Class Member’s objection or comment;
    6. state whether any attorney will appear on the Settlement Class Member’s behalf at the final fairness hearing, and, if so, the identity of that attorney;
    7. be submitted to the Court either by mailing to the Clerk, United States District Court for the Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, 350 W. 1st Street, Suite 4311, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Central District of California; and
    8. be filed or postmarked on or before October 9, 2019.

    Class Members may also appear at the final fairness hearing, either in person or through their own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for paying that attorney.

  • If you are a Class Member and exclude yourself from the Settlement, you are telling the Court that you do not want to participate in the Settlement. For that reason, you will not be eligible to receive any benefits from the Settlement and you will not be able to object to it, as it will no longer apply to you or bind you.

    If you are a Class Member and you object to the Settlement, you are telling the Court you want to participate in the Settlement but that there is something about it you do not like. If you object, you are still eligible to receive payment(s) from the Settlement (although you will not receive any payment until your objection is resolved).

  • If you are a Class Member and you want to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter to the Settlement Administrator stating that you wish to be excluded from In re: USC Student Health Center Litigation, No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW (C.D. Cal.). Your written exclusion request must include the following:

    • Your full name, address, and telephone number;
    • The following statement:

    I want to be excluded from In re USC Student Health Center Litigation, No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW (C.D. Cal.), and understand that by excluding myself, I will not be able to get any money or benefits from the Settlement.

    • Your handwritten signature.

    You must mail your written exclusion request, postmarked no later than November 7, 2019 to:

    USC Student Health Center Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91235
    Seattle, WA 98111-9335

  • No. If you are a Class Member and exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not receive any payment(s) or other benefits from the Settlement.

  • No. Unless Class Members exclude themselves from the Settlement, they give up any right to sue the Defendants for the claims being released in this Litigation (In re: USC Student Health Center Litigation, No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW (C.D. Cal.), and Jane Doe 1 v. University of Southern California et al., No. BC713383 (Cal. Super. Ct., L.A. County)), which are claims that Tyndall assaulted, abused, sexually harassed, committed medical malpractice related to a Women’s Health Issue against, or otherwise acted inappropriately towards, female patients while he was a gynecologist at the USC Student Health Center, and that USC failed to respond appropriately to Tyndall's conduct.

    If you have a pending lawsuit against any of the Defendants, speak to your lawyer as soon as possible; you may need to exclude yourself from this Settlement to continue your own lawsuit.

  • You can contact Class Counsel, and they will help you with any questions about your claim at no cost to you.

    The Court has appointed the following lawyers, known as Class Counsel, to represent the Class Members in connection with the Settlement:
     

    Steve Berman
    HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
    1201 Second Avenue, Suite 2000
    Seattle, WA 98101
    Phone: 206-623-7292
    Email: USCSettlement@hbsslaw.com

    Annika K. Martin
    LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN and BERNSTEIN LLP
    250 Hudson Street, 8th Floor
    New York, NY 10013
    Phone: 212-355-9500
    Email: akmartin@lchb.com

    Elizabeth A. Kramer
    GIRARD SHARP LLP
    601 California Street, Suite 1400
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    Phone: 415-981-4800
    Email: ekramer@girardsharp.com

  • The Settlement Notice summarizes the Settlement and Class Member rights and options. More details are contained in the Amended Settlement Agreement. You can get copies of the Amended Settlement Agreement and more information about the Settlement on the Important Documents page of this website. You also may also contact the Settlement Administrator.

    For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in the Litigation or the Settlement, you may review the various documents on the Important Documents page of this website, and/or the other documents filed in this case by visiting (during business hours) the Clerk’s office at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, 350 W. 1st Street, Suite 4311, Los Angeles, CA 90012, File: In re: USC Student Health Center Litigation, No. 2:18-cv-04258-SVW, or by accessing the docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.

    Please do not – under any circumstances – telephone the Court or the Court Clerk’s office to inquire about the Settlement or the claim process. They do not have additional information and cannot help you with this process. 

  • The following resources are confidential, anonymous, and available to you free of charge 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year:

    National Sexual Assault Hotline
    Toll-Free: 1-800-656-4673
    Online: https://hotline.rainn.org/online

  • Absolutely. The Settlement does not require claimants to sign a non-disclosure (gag) provision. You are free to speak publicly about any aspect of your story or your participation in the Settlement. 

This is the official Settlement website of the Settlement Administrator for the USC Student Health Center Litigation Settlement and is not operated by USC.

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USC Student Health Center Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91233
Seattle, WA 98111-9333