What Do I and My Lawyer Need to File Against UCLA for Sexual Abuse?

In 2019, victims of Dr. James Heaps filed lawsuits against the former University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gynecologist for alleged sexual abuse and assault. Despite Dr. Heaps pleading not guilty, in 2021, the judge approved a $73 million settlement for about 6,000 of his victims. 

If you were a victim of Dr. Heaps’ alleged sexual abuse and UCLA’s negligence in protecting you from its employee, you could file a lawsuit seeking recovery. A lawyer with our team can investigate your situation, calculate your damages, and negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. In the meantime, focus on healing and getting the treatment you need.

What a Lawsuit Against UCLA for Sexual Abuse Entails

CBS News reported that a 2019 class action lawsuit alleged that Dr. James Heaps sexually abused his patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, as well as his on-campus practice, from 1983 to 2018. In addition to these thousands of civil claims, the doctor faces 21 criminal charges from seven different women—all of which he has denied.

This lawsuit also holds UCLA accountable for its indifference after these claimants filed complaints against Dr. Heaps.

The UCLA Sexual Abuse Case Outcome

In July 2021, a federal judge approved a $73 million settlement for approximately 6,000 women who alleged that Dr. James Heaps sexually abused and/or assaulted them.

Depending on the severity of each individual’s case in the class action lawsuit, every person will be awarded $2,500 to $250,000 for their medical bills, bodily injuries, and emotional distress.

The Four Conditions of Liability

There are certain conditions you need to file against UCLA for sexual abuse to pursue financial recovery. They include:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of care
  • Causation
  • Damages

Dr. James Heaps and UCLA Owed You a Duty of Care

As a licensed physician, Dr. James Heaps owed you a duty of care to provide accepted medical care in a safe and nonthreatening atmosphere. As his employer, UCLA owed you a duty of care to protect you from a doctor who had received several complaints of alleged sexual abuse.

They Breached that Duty of Care and Committed and Allowed the Sexual Abuse

Dr. James Heaps breached his duty of care through alleged acts of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment. UCLA is also negligent because it allowed Dr. Heaps to continue seeing patients despite knowledge of his alleged misconduct.

This Abuse Led You to Suffer Physical and Emotional Harm

This combined negligence on the part of Dr. Heaps and UCLA caused you to suffer physical and emotional injuries.

You’re Left With Measurable Damages

You have expenses such as medical bills, lost pay, and mental anguish, as well as other damages from your injuries.

Look for a Lawyer Who Understands Sexual Abuse Cases

Civil action against an individual or group of individuals does not have to be “beyond a reasonable doubt.” A lawyer seeking financial recovery must prove that it is more likely than not that the accused caused the plaintiff injury and financial damages.

That is why you should consider a law firm with an understanding of sexual abuse and assault cases. Andy Rubenstein of D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, is the attorney for several plaintiffs in the University of Southern California (USC) sexual abuse lawsuit. Our firm also represents victims of the Ohio State University (OSU) sexual abuse lawsuit.

How One of Our Injury Lawyers Can Help You With Your Case Against UCLA

We have the proper resources and staff you need to file against UCLA for sexual abuse. We can determine liability and help you seek the financial recovery you may deserve. In doing so, we will provide these services to you and your family:

  • Collecting relevant medical records
  • Gathering photographs and videos
  • Going back and forth with other parties involved
  • Protecting you from the other party and their insurer in bad faith
  • Taking your sexual abuse case to court

In addition to providing legal aid, we can refer to resources that can help you work through this traumatic event. The biggest anti-sexual violence organization is Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). When you call their hotline at 800.656.4673, a staff member will give you information about your medical concerns and explain your options for long-term support in your location.

Our Firm Has Experience Helping Sexual Abuse Victims

Our attorneys have championed women who have suffered sexual abuse. Take a look at what one of our former clients, who was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s traffic operation, had to say about partnering with us:

Finally having a team to accept the challenge of giving me the justice I deserve gives me more than just hope it makes me feel like I still have a fighting chance in going back to normalcy. I am very grateful for the opportunity this firm has given me…” — Libby K.

After suffering through such trauma, you should direct your attention towards getting the help you need. Leave all the legalities of your case to one of our lawyers while you take care of yourself.

We Want to Hear Your Story

As lawyers for other sexual abuse victims, we have an idea of how difficult it is for you to talk about what happened to you. It bears repeating that you are a victim; it is not your fault, and you have legal rights to seek recovery and justice.

Every victim who comes forward with her story is helping to shine a light on sexual abuse and assault. You are pursuing recovery, but you are also encouraging other victims to be heard.

Our Lawyers Fight for Recovery and Justice

Financial recovery in a sexual abuse lawsuit includes economic and non-economic damages. Each sexual abuse case is different, but the damages that you might seek in your lawsuit include:

  • Medical treatment, including psychological and emotional support
  • Lost wages and/or diminished income due to trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

Legal Options for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against UCLA

There are two legal courses of action when it comes to filing a sexual abuse lawsuit. The first is to join other plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit. The other is to file an individual lawsuit where you are the sole plaintiff.

Class-action lawsuits need multiple plaintiffs. You should consider talking to a sexual abuse lawsuit lawyer about your legal options.

You should also know that each state has a statute of limitations that prohibits you from taking legal action after a certain deadline. A lawyer with D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, can tell you if you are within your state’s statute.

We Are Here to Help With Your UCLA Sexual Abuse Case

If you were a patient of Dr. James Heaps at the UCLA student medical center during his tenure from 1983 to 2018, you could be entitled to financial recovery for pain and suffering and other damages.

Our legal team will make sure that you have everything you need to file against UCLA for sexual abuse to pursue recovery. We are ready to help you and answer your questions. Please call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, today at (713) 850-8600.