On October 2, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1510 into law. The new law gives victims of some sexual assault lawsuit cases an additional year to decide whether they want to pursue civil action against certain physicians for sexual assault. The law does not apply to all victims of sexual assault, nor does it apply to all physicians accused of sexual assault. It does apply to the hundreds of USC students who have recently alleged two USC physicians sexually assaulted them.
In this article, we discuss:
- What types of sexual assault cases are covered by AB 1510?
- Can I file a lawsuit against a USC physician or am I required to join the large class-action lawsuit against USC?
- Numerous male students file allegations against another USC physician.
- What are the standard deadlines for filing sexual assault cases under California law for adults?
- What are the benefits of filing civil lawsuits for the sexual assault of adults?
What types of sexual assault cases are covered by AB 1510?
Assembly Bill 1510 is not designed to extend the statute of limitations for filing sexual abuse lawsuits in all cases. It is primarily aimed at giving former USC students additional time to decide whether they want to file individual civil lawsuits against campus physicians alleging sexual abuse.
Under the statute signed into law by Gov. Newsom, individuals who were sexually assaulted by a physician at a student health center between January 1, 1988, and January 1, 2017 have an additional year to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages. The statute of limitations for those claims will expire on January 1, 2020 under the old laws. AB 1510 extends the statute of limitations until January 1, 2021 for claims of more than $250,000 falling within these specific circumstances.
Can I file a lawsuit against a USC physician or am I required to join the large class-action lawsuit against USC?
Thousands of women may fall within a class action lawsuit against USC for allegations of sexual abuse against campus gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall. Students and co-workers complained that the doctor had performed inappropriate procedures, unnecessary pelvic examinations, and made racist and sexual comments. Dr. Tyndall is currently facing several criminal charges for sexual penetration and sexual battery by fraud. He has pled not guilty.
The university did not begin an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct of Dr. Tyndall until 2016, even though it had received numerous complaints throughout the years against Dr. Tyndall. Investigators questioned his behavior as inappropriate and discovered nude photos of some of his patients. Instead of being fired by the university, Dr. Tyndall left with a severance package.
The University of Southern California was named in a lawsuit by victims of Dr. Tyndall. A judge has granted preliminary approval of a $215 million settlement in the federal class-action lawsuit, which could include as many as 17,000 women. Women who had their genitals or breasts examined by Dr. Tyndall or were photographed or videotaped nude or partially nude may qualify to receive from $2,500 to $250,000 from the settlement proceeds.
However, with the passage of AB 1510, survivors of sexual abuse by Dr. Tyndall have an additional year to decide if they want to join the class action lawsuit or file individual civil lawsuits against the doctor and the university.
Because some individuals may be limited in what they might receive from the class action lawsuit, our California sexual abuse attorneys strongly urge individuals to discuss their case with an attorney before joining the class action lawsuit.
Attorney Bobby Thompson of the Thompson Law Office offers free consultations for victims of sexual abuse. Learn about your legal rights and your options for seeking justice from the parties responsible for the sexual assault.
Call 1-650-513-6111 to speak with a member of our legal team. You have options, but your time is limited. Call now to schedule your free appointment with an experienced California sexual abuse injury lawyer.
Numerous male students file allegations against another USC physician
In addition to the female students from USC that have bravely come forward with their allegations and personal stores of sexual abuse by Dr. Tyndall, former male students of USC have come forward alleging sexual abuse by another USC doctor, Dr. Dennis Kelly. Forty-eight bisexual and gay male students have accused Dr. Kelly of sexual abuse. They claim that Dr. Kelly abused them, claiming that he was conducting medical exams. The sexual abuse claims cover more than 20 years.
The men claim that Dr. Kelly had a pattern of behavior that included giving rectal examinations without reasonable explanations for the need for such examinations, fondling their genitals, and subjecting them to degrading and sexually implicit questions. Before coming to USC on a full-time basis, Dr. Kelly worked for UCLA before leaving there in 2002 under a secret settlement. Shortly after leaving UCLA, Dr. Kelly became a full-time employee of USC. In a lawsuit against Dr. Kelly and USC, the men allege sexual harassment, gender violence, and sexual battery.
In addition to the USC student, a former UCLA male student has also come forward with sexual allegations against Dr. Kelly. The former UCLA student alleges that the doctor performed two invasive and unnecessary rectal exams when he was approximately 23 years old. The former student states that he went to the campus health center with cold or flu symptoms in 1994. He alleges that Dr. Kelly insisted upon performing a rectal examination. In 1996, the student returned to the campus health center with another health issue and was pressured by Dr. Kelly to have another rectal exam.
Under California Assembly Bill 1510, male students who were victimized by Dr. Kelly might have additional options for seeking justice and compensation. Any student, male or female, was sexually assaulted or sexually abused by a physician at a California student health center between January 1, 1988, and January 1, 2017, should immediately contact a California sexual abuse attorney to discuss their legal rights and options for filing a civil lawsuit.
What are the standard deadlines for filing sexual assault cases under California law for adults?
California has enacted several new laws recently extending the time to file civil lawsuits for victims of sexual abuse. The changes in the statute of limitations laws for California sexual abuse cases apply to civil lawsuits only. Criminal charges for sexual crimes may have different statutes of limitations.
Assembly Bill 1619 (AB 1619) was enacted and signed into law late in 2018. It took effect on January 1, 2019. Under previous laws, survivors of sexual abuse had just three years from the date of the last act to file a civil lawsuit or three years from the date that the victim should have reasonably discovered or discovered that an illness or injury was the result of prior sexual abuse.
According to AB 1619, victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse that occurred on or after the person’s 18th birthday now have ten years from the date of the sexual assault to file a civil lawsuit against the abuser. The three-year discovery rule remains. Therefore, a victim could have additional time to file a civil lawsuit if the victim only recently discovered that an injury or illness was caused by prior sexual assault or sexual abuse.
Additionally, Gov. Newsom just recently expanded the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases involving minors. Gov. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) into law on October 13, 2019. AB 218 gives adults who were sexually assaulted or sexually abused as a child until their 40th birthday to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser. The three-year discovery rule was also expanded under the bill for childhood sexual abuse cases from three years to five years.
Another important feature of AB 218 is a three-year lookback period beginning January 1, 2020. For victims of childhood sexual assault, the bill gives them a three-year window to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser. The bill gives victims whose claim might have been barred by the statute of limitations a short window to seek the justice they deserve for instances of childhood sexual abuse or childhood sexual assault in California.
What are the benefits of filing civil lawsuits for the sexual assault of adults?
Some individuals question why a person would want to file a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse when the lawsuit cannot undo the abuse or sexual assault. Filing a civil lawsuit in sexual abuse cases can accomplish several goals for victims and the public.
A civil lawsuit can give the victim a chance to be heard. They can face their abuser and share what happened to them so that their abuser can be held legally liable for the damage caused by sexual abuse or sexual assault. A civil lawsuit for sexual abuse or sexual assault can also result in monetary compensation for the victim. While a monetary award does not undo the damage caused by sexual crimes, it can provide the funds a victim needs to continue receiving medical care, counseling, and other care they need as they continue to recover from the abuse. The award can also compensate the victim for loss of income, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Filing a lawsuit against a sexual abuser shines a light on the abuser. Making it known that a person is a sexual predator can prevent other individuals from becoming victims of the predator. It places employers on notice that this person has a history of sexual assault and sexual abuse.
How Can the Lawyers of The Thompson Law Office Help You with a California Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
Facing a sexual abuser and telling your story of sexual abuse or sexual assault can be overwhelming and frightening. Victims of sexual abuse often deal with feelings of guilt and shame, even though they have no fault for what happened to them. Reliving the sexual assault can be traumatic.
We provide a safe, compassionate environment for victims to share their stories of sexual abuse. Everything you say is held in strict confidence by our California sexual abuse attorney and our legal team. If you decide that a civil lawsuit is not right for you, everything you said in our office remains in strict confidence.
However, if you want to pursue a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse, our attorney and legal team aggressively investigates the allegations and pursues the abuser through the civil court system. We work with professionals and experts to build a strong and convincing case against the person who committed horrific and heinous acts against you.
Our attorneys carefully monitor all new laws related to sexual abuse and sexual assault cases, including the changes to the California statutes of limitations for sexual abuse cases. We also monitor current cases that are proceeding through the courts to analyze results and how those results might impact our clients’ cases.
Our attorneys also work with clients who may be interested in pursuing a class-action lawsuit settlement to ensure they have independent representation to protect their best interests. If your best chance of recovering compensation for damages is to join a class-action lawsuit already in progress, we are honest and straightforward with our advice. Our goal is to ensure that the steps taken to handle your sexual abuse case give you the best chance at the outcome you desire for your case.
Contact Our California Sexual Assault Attorneys to Tell Us What Happened to You
If you are the victim of a sex crime in California, we encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation with a California sex abuse lawyer. It is important that you know your legal rights and your options before proceeding with any civil action.
However, time is limited. Even with the changes to the California deadlines to file sexual assault claims, you should contact a sexual abuse attorney in California immediately. In some cases, such as those involving government entities, your time to file a claim could be drastically shorter.
Call 1-650-513-6111 for more information or to schedule your free consultation with an experienced sexual assault claims attorney.