LOS ANGELES — A Filipina student’s routine medical exam at the University of Southern California’s Student Health Center has become a major scandal centered around the school’s gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.
Her visit resulted in race-based sexual innuendos — inappropriate touching, and now a series of lawsuit and investigations.
“Dr. Tyndall asked Daniella about her race she responded that she was Filipina. She remembers that Tyndall’s office was messy and that there were framed pictures of Tyndall’s wife who was also Filipina,” said Atty. Gloria Allred. “He related her to his wife by saying Filipinas are the smartest, most giving and gentle people. He told her Filipinas are good in bed. Then without a glove, Dr. Tyndall put his two fingers in her vagina and felt around.”
“He has been the root of distrust and discomfort that we now face. The last thing I’ve ever imagined was to distrust a part of my own university,” said USC student Daniella Mozahab.
Last month, the 21-year-old graduate student was among the first to step forward publicly claiming that Tyndall acted inappropriately when doing gynecological exams.
“I spoke out because I knew that I was supported by those that I am around, I recognize how difficult it is to speak up because of fear of being in the public eye, possible backlash from the university,” Mozahab said.
Since Mohazab came out, nearly two dozen more women have joined her lawsuit, filed by high power celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.
The amended suit was filed Wednesday morning — and while most of the victims remain anonymous, many of the stories are similar.
With complaints stretching as far back to 1990, Tyndall has been accused of improperly photographing and touching women’s genitals, and making crude remarks.
The lawsuit claims that USC did nothing about the allegations, and allowed Tyndall to continue working until 2016, when Tyndall quietly resigned with a financial payout, after a nurse was reportedly upset with the university’s failure to address the issue.
USC never informed the state’s medical board, nor students of the investigation and resignation.
Tyndall has denied any wrongdoings, saying while his examinations were thorough, they were always appropriate.
The fallout has led to USC’s President C.L. Max Nikias resigning last month.
The Department of Education has launched its own investigation this week.
Over 300 people have since complained about Tyndall, and more have also contacted lawyers.
While more victims are expected to file lawsuits, Mohazab sees some of positive steps taken, and will continue to fight.
“It takes a lot of grit and a lot of support, which I’m lucky to have from friends and family, to get through this, and I’m lucky to have other victims speak out.”
As the legal process takes its place, she’s expected to return to school in August, and with the extra support she feels more empowered to resume her studies.
As the number of plaintiffs continue to grow, the Los Angeles Police Department is continuing their criminal investigation, and is expected to file criminal charges soon.