The University of California system has agreed to pay $243.6 million to settle lawsuits involving around 200 women who claim they were sexually abused during gynecological exams by James Heaps.
Heaps worked at UCLA from 1983 until his arrest in 2018, after two former patients came forward to claim that he sexually abused him. The women also accused UCLA of failing to stop him from abusing others, which allowed Heaps to victimize thousands of students.
Heaps is currently facing 21 counts of felony sexual assault.
UCLA previously reached a $73 million settlement back in November 2020 to resolve a class action lawsuit involving thousands of Heaps’ patients, paying between $2,500 to $250,000 per patient.
Around 600 women refused to join the class action settlement because it would have prevented them from filing individual lawsuits.
Of the women who opted out of the class action settlement, around 200 of them have now reached a $243.6 million settlement with UCLA, with each woman receiving about $1.2 million.
Heaps is accused of sexually assaulting female patients during medical exams for decades, touching them inappropriately during vaginal and breast exams, and making sexual comments.
UCLA has joined a growing list of universities that have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in sex abuse settlements to former students who were assaulted by gynecologists and coaches.
Just last year, the University of Southern California (USC) paid more than $1 billion to settle sex abuse lawsuits involving George Tyndall, a former gynecologist who was accused of abusing female students.
Source: UC Board of Regents, plaintiffs reach $243.6 million settlement with James Heaps