We have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of women who were examined at UCLA facilities after January 1, 2014 by OB-GYN Dr. James Heaps. Dr. Heaps was arrested in June 2019 for sexual battery and sexual exploitation by a physician.
For more information, see the UCLA Dr. Heaps Class Action Lawsuit complaint.
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Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Committed by UCLA Doctor, James Heaps
At least 11 women have filed lawsuits against Dr. Heaps accusing him of inappropriate touching and sexual comments, which served no legitimate medical purpose. For example, one woman saw Dr. Heaps in 2017 for severe pelvic pain. During the exam, she says, he improperly touched her genitals, fondled her breast and buttock, and made sexual remarks, LA Times reports.
New York Times reports that the recent investigation into Dr. Heaps’ past behavior was prompted by accusations of sexual assault by two patients who received care at a UCLA Health facility in 2017 and 2018. After the investigation started, the university discovered another allegation of sexual misconduct by an anonymous UCLA student in 2015, according to NYT. A fourth accusation of sexual misconduct against Dr. Heaps was discovered in February 2019, reports NYT.
Over 115 women have come forward with concerns about their interactions with Dr. Heaps, CBS News reports. After several complaints and accusations, Dr. James Heaps was arrested in June 2019 and indicted on two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual exploitation by a physician.
UCLA Failed to Inform Women of Sexual Misconduct; Breached its Duty to Patients
Dr. Heaps worked at a student health clinic at UCLA from 1983 to 2010, was employed at a UCLA Health facility from 2014 to June 2018, and held medical staff privileges at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from 1988 to 2018, according to a UCLA press release. He also taught medical students during that time, according to UCLA.
UCLA allegedly received complaints about Heaps in 2014, 2015, and 2016. However, UCLA failed to inform Heaps’ patients of his alleged misconduct and continued to allow him to see patients during its internal investigation.
In June 2018, without disclosing the results of its internal investigation—which found Heaps violated university policy on sexual violence—UCLA allowed Heaps to quietly resign. Only after Heaps’s arrest did UCLA issue a statement that it was “deeply sorry” that its women’s health doctor violated “the trust of his patients.”
Amy Zeman of Gibbs Law Group stated
To conceal multiple, serious sexual assault allegations from students, patients, and the campus community, UCLA put patients directly in harm’s way, and it must be held accountable for the damage it needlessly caused
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that UCLA breached its duties to Plaintiffs and other women by keeping Heaps on staff after receiving several complaints about his behavior, investigating these complaints, and even after the Medical Board of California conducted an investigation in 2014.
Our law firm is working to obtain relief for those affected by Heaps’ treatment.
In the News: UCLA Dr James Heaps Class Action Lawsuit
The class action we filed, alongside Girard Sharp, has received extensive media coverage since its filing.
The Daily Bruin stated,
Law firms Girard Sharp and Gibbs Law Group filed the first class-action lawsuit against Heaps and the University of California on Tuesday on behalf of women who were patients of Heaps since January 2014.
AP News further explained,
The lawsuit states Dr. James Heaps sexually assaulted the women and made sexually inappropriate comments during their appointments. The suit also alleges that UCLA failed to protect Heaps’ patients and acted negligently.
According to Elizabeth Kramer of Girard Sharp, this case could potentially provide relief for the women who were victims of Dr. Heaps’ sexual misconduct, without forcing these women to file their own, individual cases.
Our law firms wants to help anyone who was examined at UCLA facilities by Dr. Heaps. All consultations are free and confidential.
Our Sexual Assault Attorneys
Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”
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