Intended for healthcare professionals


University of California pays out $73m to 6600 patients of gynaecologist charged with sexual assaults

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 19 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4507
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The University of California has agreed to pay $73m (£55.2m; €61.7m) to settle allegations that it failed to prevent a gynaecologist’s sexual abuse of hundreds or possibly thousands of female patients.

James Heaps, 67, is also charged with 20 felonies, including two counts of sexual exploitation of a patient, eight counts of sexual battery by fraud, and seven counts of sexual penetration of a person unconscious of the nature of the act by fraudulent representation.

Several women have said that he simulated intercourse, often roughly, with an ultrasound probe. He also made inappropriate sexual comments to patients and touched women sexually during exams without wearing gloves.

The class action lawsuit that led to the settlement was brought by …

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