Reyes’ Legislation to Assist Survivors of Campus Doctor Headed to the Governor’s Desk
Sacramento- Today, Assembly Bill 1510 authored by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) was voted out of the Assembly on concurrence and heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. AB 1510 which will give victims of sexual assault that occurred at the University of Southern California student health center, an additional year to file their civil claims. The pattern of behavior revealed in the media coverage and through the subsequent witness testimonies provided shocking details of sexual assault and harassment inflicted on patients while Dr. Tyndall served as USC’s sole gynecologist at its student health center. Many of his victims were precluded from filing civil claims because of filing deadlines. AB 1510 will give victims of this conscious-shocking behavior an additional year to file their claims in court that may have otherwise been time barred.
“We know from extensive media accounts and testimony in Legislative committees that many survivors of Dr. Tyndall were ignored when they initially raised concerns about what they had experienced,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “Survivors of sexual assault should never have their rights diminished or be denied their day in court because of delays and cover-ups by the very institutions that enabled the sexual assault to occur. The passage of this legislation tells survivors we hear them and we will hold those responsible accountable.”
It is estimated that over 14,000 female students were impacted by Dr. Tyndall since the start of his tenure in 1989.
USC graduate and survivor Nicole Haynes stated, “Along with other survivors, I'm extremely grateful that state lawmakers have agreed to give us a chance to seek justice. The actions of Dr. Tyndall have reverberated through our lives, and we deserve the opportunity to hold him accountable. We are very hopeful that Gov. Newsom will sign this bill and allow us that chance.”
AB 1510 creates a one-year window to revive time-barred civil actions, but only for claims for damages “arising out of sexual assault or misconduct by a physician occurring at a student health center…” and where the claimant believes their claim is more than $250,000 in damages. Specifically, victims whose claims had expired prior to January 1, 2020, would have until January 1, 2021, to file their lapsed claim for damages. This one-year revival window would not apply to any claim litigated to finality in court, or to any case settled to finality, before January 1, 2020.
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.