The USC Board of Trustees Wednesday announced the formation of a special committee to hire outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation into the misconduct and reporting failures that occurred at the USC student health center involving former campus gynecologist George Tyndall.
The special committee of trustees will be chaired by billionaire real estate magnate Rick Caruso, a 1980 USC graduate, and will include Wanda Austin, Suzanne Dworak-Peck, Stanley Gold and Leonard Schaeffer.
“Outside counsel will report directly to the special committee, which will operate independently, but will report its findings to the full Board of Trustees,” according to the statement from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
“The behavior exhibited by the former physician was reprehensible, and we will hold people accountable if we find they failed to report or take action to ensure the well-being and safety of patients and students. To those affected, we are deeply sorry.”
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that about 300 former patients of Tyndall have contacted the University of Southern California about his conduct and the school has begun sharing their names with Los Angeles police for a criminal investigation.
The newspaper reported that LAPD has had discussions with USC and at least one attorney for several alleged victims. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said no cases have been presented to prosecutors.
Tyndall, 71, has defended his medical exams as appropriate and in keeping with medical standards. He denied making inappropriate comments to patients, saying his remarks were misinterpreted.
USC officials told The Times that administrators were cooperating with an inquiry launched by the Medical Board of California, the state agency that licenses and investigates physicians.
Seven former USC students have filed lawsuits against the university related to Tyndall’s alleged conduct, which came to light after a months-long investigation by the Times.
In one lawsuit, four women identified only as Jane Does contend that Tyndall forced them to strip naked and groped them under the guise of medical treatment for his “sexual gratification.” The suit also accuses the university of failing to properly respond to complaints about Tyndall.