The University of California system came to an agreement with 203 individuals who allege they were sexually abused by a UCLA gynecologist. The gynecologist, Dr. James Heaps, worked at UCLA from 1983 to 2010, and then was hired by UCLA Health in 2014.
Heaps was arrested in June 2019 after two former patients pressed sexual battery charges in 2017 and 2018. After Heaps’ arrest, numerous more women came forward describing similar accounts.
This settlement is for 203 individual plaintiffs that alleged sexual conduct by Heaps. The settlement has been viewed as a large win and will help the survivors of Heaps misconduct continue their journey to healing.
The survivors hope this settlement will serve as a model for other universities that are faced with similar claims regarding their staff.
This settlement isn’t the first time the University of California system has paid civil damages due to this disgraced doctor. In November 2020 a $73 million settlement was reached covering a class size of up to 6,600 victims. Some of the allegations against Heaps in this lawsuit were sexually suggestive comments, inappropriate touching, sexual exploitation, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Heaps has not pleaded guilty in a criminal trial up to this point.
Originally reported in news.law