Get the Justice You Deserve as a Victim of Sexual Abuse
The announcement of a criminal investigation into sexual abuse by a University of Southern California (USC) gynecologist sent shock waves throughout California and across the US, as more than 50 women have come forward with disturbing allegations.
The San Francisco Chronicle outlined the initial findings by law enforcement, though it may be some time before they announce the full extent of the charges against Dr. George Tyndall.
More shocking is the apparent lack of action taken by the USC administration and staff. Victims’ complaints reportedly date back to 1990, yet there are no reports that anything was done to address Dr. Tyndall’s reprehensible conduct.
Some victims have filed sexual abuse lawsuits and, though these claims may not be resolved for some time, a similar case is telling: hundreds of victims who were abused under similar circumstances by a Michigan State University doctor settled their claims for approximately $500 million in damages.
While the Michigan State University case is no guarantee on the amount that victims of Dr. Tyndall might recover, it does demonstrate that claims of sexual abuse are so foul and offensive that victims should be properly compensated for their losses.
Our sexual abuse attorneys at the office of GJELL aggressively pursue such wrongdoers, fighting not only for justice and dignity but also for recovery of the monetary compensation their victims deserve.
Spotlight on Sexual Abuse and Institutional Failures After the USC Case
The USC sexual abuse case and similar matters have gripped the nation, especially in California where the issue hits so close to home. People from all walks of life empathize with the victims and their loved ones, and they feel betrayed by the legal system when an abuser is not held accountable for his egregious misconduct.
There can also be a sense of powerlessness because of the specific institutional failures at USC. Officials who were entrusted with protecting students apparently did nothing to address Dr. Tyndall’s actions, let alone stop him. The administration ignored the victims’ complaints, neglected to report the abuser to the Medical Board of California, and did not alert law enforcement of the claims. Ultimately, Dr. Tyndall was permitted to continue his pattern of abuse, and the administration’s only action was allowing him to resign after three decades and untold numbers of victims.
Holding Offenders and Institutions Accountable
California law allows you to file a legal claim against a person who commits a wrongful act like sexual abuse that causes harm to you. The cases are called intentional torts and you may be able to sue an abuser for:
● Sexual Assault and/or Battery;
● Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; and,
● Other legal theories depending on your circumstances.
In addition, you may bring a claim against third parties who acquiesced in the sexual abuse. Any individual or entity that failed to act, detect, report, or prevent the abuse could be potentially liable. Often, this means suing the offender’s employer, a university or college, government agency, volunteer organization, religious facility, or other entities that did not comply with their legal duties of care.
If successful in proving a civil case for sexual abuse, you may be entitled to recover such compensatory damages as:
● Medical bills, including costs for treating emotional and psychological effects of horrendous sexual abuse;
● Emotional distress and trauma;
● Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder;
● Lost wages; and,
● Amounts for other types of losses.
Note that you may also be able to recover punitive damages in a California sexual abuse case. These types of damages are intended to punish the offender and serve as an example to others who would consider engaging in such appalling acts. If you can prove malice or oppression in the form of “despicable” conduct, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages, which are determined by multiplying what you received as compensatory damages.
Common Questions on Sexual Abuse Claims
If you or a loved one was victimized by a sexual abuser, you may wonder about your rights and other issues regarding these types of cases. While our sexual abuse attorneys at GJELL can tell you more after reviewing your specific circumstances, the answers to some common questions may be useful:
• How does a civil sexual abuse claim differ from a criminal case? In a criminal case, the government seeks to punish a person with jail time, fines, probation, or other sanctions for breaking a law. The focus is on the criminal defendant and making him or her accountable for the alleged offense. Victims may also gain justice or restitution through the criminal process, but they often do not recover compensation for their pain, suffering, and other personal losses.
Civil cases focus on the rights of the victim and ensuring he or she is made whole as much as possible after enduring horrific sexual abuse. The process holds offenders liable for monetary damages for the wrongdoing they inflicted upon a victim.
Trust a California Sexual Abuse Attorney to Fight for Your Rights
If you suffered sexual abuse, please contact the sexual abuse attorneys at GJELL to learn more about your rights in claims against the offender and other third parties who enabled him or her. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling (707) 537-1133.
Sexual Abuse on College Campuses