Dr. James Heaps is the former University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) gynecologist who was arrested on several charges of sexual battery. News reports from CBS News indicate that Heaps’ employer, UCLA, had received many complaints but did nothing to protect female patients. The University of California Board of Regents has settled at least two sexual abuse lawsuits with compensatory damages.
Dr. Heaps and UCLA are still vulnerable to more legal action. More former patients are filing lawsuits against Heaps and UCLA for alleged sexual assault and abuse. Our firm is here to answer your questions if you were a patient at the UCLA student medical center from 1983 to 2018, when Dr. Heaps finally left the university.
Sexual Abuse Settlement Details Are Confidential
High-profile sexual abuse cases often result in a settlement rather than in a courtroom trial. As a result, details that would have been revealed in a trial are kept within the confines of a legally binding contract between plaintiffs and the defendants, such as the UCLA sexual abuse settlement.
There are benefits to both parties if an acceptable settlement can be reached. For the plaintiff, a sexual abuse settlement means that:
- The victim does not have to discuss the alleged attack in court and be subject to potentially vicious cross-examination from the defendant’s lawyer.
- The victim avoids the expense and stress of a prolonged trial that would attract media attention.
- The victim typically receives financial recovery faster in a settlement than a trial, since defendants have the right to file an appeal.
- There is no guarantee of financial recovery by going to trial.
For the defendants, in this case, the benefits of a sexual abuse settlement include:
- Neither Dr. Heaps nor UCLA must admit liability or wrongdoing.
- The defendants are spared the embarrassment and notoriety of sordid details becoming public information.
- The defendants could pay more than the settlement amount if the case goes to trial and the jury sides with the plaintiff.
What Types of Damages Might Be Included in the UCLA Sexual Abuse Settlement
Our lawyers do not know the details of the UCLA sexual abuse settlement covers, but in our experience, it is likely that plaintiffs were awarded recovery for damages such as:
- Medical treatment for physical and psychological injuries
- Lost wages and/or diminished earning ability due to trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Other related out-of-pocket expenses
Typically, plaintiffs who are awarded damages in a settlement may choose the terms for their financial recovery. It may be in a one-time lump sum, or it can be paid out over a period of several years.
Both Dr. Heaps and UCLA Were Named Defendants in the Settlement
Although it was Dr. Heaps personally who is accused of sexual battery, his employer, UCLA, is also liable because they did not take any action even after hearing reports of alleged sexual abuse.
An employer may be held accountable for an employee through a legal term called vicarious liability. Proving direct and vicarious liability depends on certain factors, including:
- Duty of Care: Both UCLA and Dr. Heaps owed students and patients a duty of care with medical treatment in a safe environment.
- Breach of Duty: Both UCLA and Dr. Heaps breached their respective duty through negligence, omission, and alleged criminal behavior.
- Causation: This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff’s body and mind.
- Damages: The plaintiff has damages as a direct result of these injuries.
We Can Help if You Are a Victim of Dr. James Heaps
You may still have time to pursue legal action and financial recovery if you were a patient of Dr. James Heaps. Our firm accepts sexual abuse and assault cases. We know how devastating this crime is for victims. A sexual abuse lawsuit lawyer with our firm can explain your rights and help you pursue financial recovery.
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC represents plaintiffs in other sexual abuse cases:
- University of Southern California (USC) / Dr. Dennis Kelly sexual abuse lawsuit
- USC/Dr. George Tyndall sexual abuse lawsuit
- Ohio State University (OSU)/Dr. Richard Strauss sexual abuse lawsuit
If you or a loved one were abused, assaulted, or harassed by Dr. James Heap at UCLA during his tenure from 1983 to 2018, you could be entitled to financial recovery. We cannot erase the past, but our legal team will do all we can to hold Dr. Heaps and UCLA accountable for your pain and suffering.
Please Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Each state has a different statute of limitations on seeking financial recovery with a personal injury lawsuit. To find out what the UCLA sexual abuse settlement covered and if you could recover damages, call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC for a free case evaluation: (713) 850-8600.