Five women filed civil lawsuits on Monday alleging that University of Southern California gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall sexually abused them under the pretext of medical care, and that USC failed to address complaints about Tyndall from clinic staff.
The lawsuits are just one installment in a series of scandals that has hit USC and its leadership. Less than a year ago, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, who was then the dean of USC's medical school, faced allegations of drug and alcohol abuse. Puliafito reportedly lived a double life of partying with criminals and addicts.
The Los Angeles Times published a three-year investigation into allegations against Tyndall, who treated tens of thousands of female students over his nearly 30-year tenure at the university. Complaints about the doctor allegedly began in the 1990s, and continued until 2016, when he was suspended for inappropriate behavior during pelvic exams.
The university did not inform Tyndall's patients of the reasons for his suspension, nor was Tyndall's behavior reported to the Medical Board of California at the time.
Students and former patients of Tyndall's say that removing Tyndall and firing some of his clinic's top supervisors is not enough. More than 700 people have signed an online petition demanding that the USC Board of Trustees fire USC President C.L. Max Nikias.
"President Nikias is allowing this to happen," the petition's sponsor, Rini Sampath, a 2016 USC graduate who served as student body president, told the Times. "I hope the rest of the community and Board of Trustees can have a spine and do something."