Sports

UCLA will pay a record $ 700 million in medical abuse lawsuits

THE ANGELS – The University of California system announced Tuesday that it will pay nearly $ 375 million to more than 300 women who said they were sexually abused by a UCLA gynecologist, a record amount of total payments from a public university in a wave of scandals. of misconduct on campus. doctors.

The deal followed previous agreements with hundreds of other patients who said Dr. James Heaps touched them, made suggestive comments, or performed unnecessarily invasive examinations during his 35-year career.

“Dr. Accumulate sexually abused patients for years while UCLA Health puts the benefits on their safety, “said attorney Jennifer McGrath in a statement.” Today’s agreement is the result of the courage of these victims and sends a message that health care institutions should protect vulnerable patients and take action. decidedly in the face of allegations of abuse. “

The university has agreed to pay nearly $ 700 million to Heap patients, which belittled a $ 500 million deal from Michigan State University in 2018 that was considered the largest by a public university. The University of Southern California, a private institution, has agreed to pay more than $ 1 billion to settle thousands of cases against the school’s longtime gynecologist.

Announcement

Heaps, 65, who retired while the scandal unfolded, pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of sexually assaulting seven women.

The women who filed the lawsuit said UCLA ignored their complaints and deliberately hid the abuse that occurred for decades during exams at the UCLA Student Health Center, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center or the Heaps campus office.

UCLA acknowledged that it received a complaint of sexual abuse against Heaps from a patient in December 2017 and began an investigation the following month that concluded it had been sexually assaulted and harassed, lawyers said.

Heaps, however, continued to exercise until his retirement in June 2018. The university did not publish its finding in the investigation until November 2019, months after Heaps was arrested.

The university has already reached agreements with other Heaps patients for $ 316 million. The latest deal with 312 women resolves the vast majority of claims against Heaps, the university said.

Announcement

“Heaps’ alleged conduct is reprehensible and contrary to our values,” UCLA said in a statement. “We are grateful to all those who submitted, and we hope this agreement will be a step in providing some level of healing for the plaintiffs involved.”

Sexual abuse by doctors on college campuses has led to mass settlements at Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University.

The state of Michigan paid $ 500 million to 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by Larry Nassar, who was a campus sports doctor and doctor of American gymnastics. Nassar, who also sexually abused gymnasts with an Olympic gold medal, is serving prison sentences that keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.

The University of Michigan has reached a $ 490 million deal with more than 1,000 people who said they were sexually assaulted by the late Dr. Robert Anderson during his nearly four-decade career as a school sports physician.

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UCLA will pay a record $ 700 million in medical abuse lawsuits

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