Los Angeles, CA – February 9, 2022 – Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos is proud to be part of the team that reached the $243.6 million settlement on behalf of more than 200 survivors of disgraced UCLA gynecologist James Heaps that has officially been placed on the record.
These women were sexually abused by the former OBGYN, according to the mass action complaint filed in 2020. The incidents of abuse occurred from 1983 to 2018. The settlement averages $1.2 million per plaintiff.
“These women expected high-quality care from a school that boasts a top hospital,” said attorney Mike Arias. “Instead, they were sexually abused by a doctor whose main job was to help them with their physical health. It was a shameful period of time for UCLA.”
Heaps currently faces 21 felony counts involving his female patients, and he faces 67 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Hundreds of women have come forward to accuse Heaps of since his 2019 arrest, and the UC system acknowledged that its staff received complaints about Heaps dating back to the 1990s. There was an official investigation in 2017, but even then it took a year for him to leave, and UCLA made no public statements about Heaps’ conduct.
The settlement is in stark contrast to the $73 million class action settlement which involved more than 5,000 patients.
“This is why we strongly urge any survivor of institutional sexual abuse or harassment such as this to look at every legal option available to them,” said Mr. Arias. “While no amount of money can ever heal the wounds of this horrible individual, these 5,000 women who participated in the class action were paid a paltry sum compared to the women in this action.”
About Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos
ASWT is a trial law firm with offices in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Las Vegas, and Montreal. ASWT specializes in complex litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. The firm represents plaintiffs in sexual assault and harassment, serious personal injury, employment, and litigates mass and class actions on behalf of consumers and employees, as well as businesses with insurance bad faith-business interruption claims. If you or someone you care about has been sexually abused, the attorneys at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP can help you fight for the justice you deserve. We will offer the help you need to hold a sexual offender accountable and pursue civil damages for sexual abuse on your behalf.