LOS ANGELES – The prestigious system at the University of California reaches a proposed $ 73 million colony with seven women who accused a former gynecologist of sexual abuse.
As part of the class-action lawsuit, Drs. More than 6,600 patients of James Heaps could receive part of the settlement – even though he did not accuse the former University of California, Los Angeles, gynecologist of misconduct.
A federal judge must approve the agreement between the seven plaintiffs, representing thousands of heaps of patients, and representatives and doctors at the University of California. The proposed settlement, which includes several mandatory reforms at UCLA, was filed in federal court on Monday.
Patients have accused Heaps of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct between 1983 and 2018, when he worked at UCLA Student Health Center and UCLA Medical Center. The charges include making sexually inappropriate remarks for patients, touching women during exams without wearing gloves, and simulating sexual intercourse, often largely ultrasound probes.
The settlement differs from the criminal charges against 63-year-old Heaps, whose medical license has been suspended by court order as the case moves forward. She has pleaded not guilty to charges related to seven women and denied wrongdoing. He is scheduled to return to state court on 7 December.
Some of his former patients have come to his rescue, saying he did not act improperly during his medical appointments.
The proposed settlement is the latest agreement to pay the payouts of thousands of doctors who are accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. A federal judge approved a $ 215 million settlement for 18,000 women, a former gynecologist at the University of Southern California, a private university in Los Angeles, Drs. George was Tyndall’s patient.
Heaps’ attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
UCLA has said its investigation into the gynecologist began in December 2017, although officials did not alert the campus community of the allegations until Heaps was in court last year. He retired in 2018 when UCLA refused to renew his contract.
“The events described in the lawsuit reflect alleged conduct that is contrary to our values,” UCLA Health said in a statement on Monday. “We thank the individuals who came forward and hope that this agreement – which is still subject to court approval – is a small step forward for the patients involved.”
According to the settlement, more than 200 women contacted UCLA after Heaps was arrested in June 2019 for reporting his experiences with the doctor. UCLA has identified approximately 5,000 patients who were already under heaps care and estimates that an additional 1,600 women were treated by them but their record no longer exists at the university. They all fall under the settlement.
However the agreement does not require the agreement to be incorrectly accepted or contributed $ 73 million after signing the agreement.
UCLA said it would implement a new process to investigate allegations of sexual harassment, harassment and misconduct, as well as establish a formal ordinance policy. Other improvements set out in the settlement include training at the borders, advertising patient reporting options, compliance monitoring, and investigating potential malpractice allegations because medical staff are credible.
Patients pay starts at a minimum $ 2,500 guarantee, even though the women have accused Heaps of harassment or assault.
“In our view, these women were still in harm’s way and deserved compensation on those grounds,” said Elizabeth Kremer, one of several lawyers representing the victims. “We don’t have a way of knowing every single woman who would accuse Dr. Heaps of sexual misconduct.”
One of the litigants, known in the lawsuit as EF, had been watching Hepes regularly for many years when she said her conduct had changed and that her appointment in a 2014 appointment showed her breasts to be erotic Manner touched and commented inappropriately.
During her 2016 office visit, she stated that Heaps sexually touched her during a pelvic exam. Court documents state that he moved his body and looked at her in disgust, and he smiled and walked out of the room.
“I knew in my gut that something was wrong,” she told the Associated Press, which does not identify the victims of sexual assault. “I was completely violated. It was so easy. “
EF, now 49, did not report his allegations to UCLA or law enforcement. She decided to set a precedent for her teenage daughters as a litigant in the lawsuit and to be part of advancing UCLA to implement the reforms.
When she gives her daughters time to go to the gynecologists, “I want to know they are safe,” she said.
Patients can seek amounts of $ 250,000 or more in some cases. A panel of experts will decide how much each patient is paid based on his or her experience.
The $ 73 million does not include attorneys’ fees or litigation expenses. UCLA will pay them separately.
Former patients with more than 100 heaps have filed individual lawsuits. The University of California Regent has settled at least two, while others are ongoing.
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed a one-year window – all of 2021 – for victims to file legal claims against Heaps and UCLA, which otherwise might have been too late under the limits of any current law.