Southern California

USC Doctor Who Supervised Tyndall Sues Over Demotion

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A USC physician is suing the university, alleging he has been wrongfully targeted for discipline and a demotion because of his role as the onetime supervisor for disgraced gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall.

Dr. William Allen Leavitt's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful discipline, defamation, false light, negligence and a breach of the USC faculty handbook.

The suit filed Thursday seeks unspecified damages.

A USC representative could not be immediately reached.

Numerous lawsuits alleging gross sexual misconduct and sexual assault by Tyndall, a gynecologist at the Engemann Student Health Center for nearly 30 years, have been filed against the university.

Leavitt until recently was based at the Engemann Center, his suit states. But on May 16, he was summoned to a meeting with other doctors and advised that USC "would separate itself from Dr. Leavitt because of his role as Dr. Tyndall's supervisor," according to the complaint.

Leavitt was told he was being suspended and placed on academic leave, the suit states.

"Dr. Leavitt was told USC would aggressively pursue his dismissal ... and was told to clean out his office and vacate the premises," according to the lawsuit.

Leavitt remains on leave and has not been fired, but he remains the focus of a backlash against him, according to his lawsuit.

"Rather than terminate Dr. Leavitt, USC has engaged in the wrongful retaliatory demotion of Dr. Leavitt," the suit states. "USC continues to demand that Dr. Leavitt be reassigned away from Engemann into another department at USC."

Leavitt has worked his entire career at the Engemann center and a reassignment amounts to "retaliation and wrongful discipline," the suit states.

"This reassignment constitutes a demotion," the suit states.

Leavitt further alleges USC has defamed him by making false comments about him to the media, including an untrue statement that he had been fired.

Tyndall's alleged history of abusing women came to light in 2016 when people cleaning his office to get rid of flies surrounding decaying food found "a box of inappropriate Polaroid photographs of patients," the suit states.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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