Did you get notice of the sex abuse class action against Dr. James Heaps & UCLA?

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What Happened At UCLA?

Dr. James Heaps, a former UCLA Health OG-GYN, has been charged with 20 felony sex crimes for inappropriate touching, comments, and other behavior in connection with his medical practice.  Just prior to his arrest, McGrath Kavinoky settled the only individual sexual abuse case against Heaps and UCLA for $2.25 Million Dollars.

They now represent more than 150 women in their individual, personalized claims against Heaps and UCLA Health.

If you are one of the survivors who has not yet come forward, you may be entitled to compensation far beyond what is offered in the class action.

Meet The Team

“Wherever there’s an injustice, the lawyers of McGrath Kavinoky are here to put things right.”

We use the legal system to restore what’s been taken from our clients.  Whether the other side is an individual, a business organization or a large institution, your contacting our Firm is the first step towards restoring whatever’s been lost and holding others to account. Our track record of success in serious cases is unmatched, and we invite you to call us day or night.

Since many of our cases involve intimate exams, we make sure that women only talk to women, and men only talk to men, until you are comfortable with our team. We absolutely insist that you feel fought for and cared about at every turn.

We are here for you; together we win.

Jennifer J. McGrath

Jennifer J. McGrath represents entertainment and business clients in a variety of disputes, with an emphasis on intellectual property litigation, including copyright, trademark and breach of implied contract matters. Ms. McGrath specializes in counseling individual and corporate clients in the entertainment and new media fields with regard to policing privacy, reputation and intellectual property rights. 

Ms. McGrath was part of the legal team which recently prevailed at trial, winning a $140 Million verdict for client Hulk Hogan in his invasion of privacy case against Gawker Media LLC and two of its editors. The verdict was one of the largest in the United States in 2016.

Darren Kavinoky

Darren Kavinoky is an award-winning attorney. The American Trial Lawyers Association has named him one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California” each year since 2007. Los Angeles magazine has identified Darren as a “SuperLawyer” for several years.

Darren received an “AV Preeminent Rating” by Martindale-Hubbell (a peer review ranking that signals the highest level of professional excellence and ethics); a perfect 10.0 Rating by Avvo.com (an independent attorney ranking site), and many other accolades.  

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Background of Settlement Notification

February 8, 2021: If you received a Legal Notice of Settlement of Class Action in A.B. et. al. vs. The Regents of the University of California; James Mason Heaps, M.D., you have been identified as a possible victim of sexual misconduct by Dr. James Heaps and negligence by UCLA for not acting appropriately to protect patients. This notice relates to a Federal class action settlement of claims against Dr. Heaps and UCLA.

Please understand that unless you (or a lawyer acting on your behalf) “opt you out” out of the Federal class action before the deadline, you will forever lose the ability to file an individual lawsuit.

If you received this notice, McGrath Kavinoky may be able to obtain a significantly larger award for you.  We are paid nothing unless we recover for you, and any discussions you have with our all-woman intake team are confidential.

As Reported By

Why did I receive this letter?

UCLA, through an outside company, is obligated to provide notice to potentially impacted women who were patients of OB-GYN James Heaps. You were identified as someone who was treated by Heaps at either:

• UCLA’s student health center (now Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center) between 1/1/83 and 6/30/2010; OR
• UCLA Medical Center(now Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center) between 1/1/86 and 6/28/18; OR
• Dr. Heaps’s medical offices at 100 UCLA Medical Plaza between 2/1/14 and 6/28/18

If any of those three apply to you, we encourage you to contact us to make sure you fully understand the legal choices that are available to you. NOTE: there is only a short time to act. You have only 90 days to opt out of the class action, or you will be forever barred from bringing your own individual case.

Isn't a class action good?

A class action may be good for some, but for many who allege inappropriate touching by Dr. Heaps, an individual lawsuit may be better, both in terms of the experience and the financial outcome.

In a class action, one or more plaintiffs called “class representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. This group of people is called the “class” and the people in the class are called “class members.” One court then resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class. If you suffered any form of abuse by Heaps, there may be good reasons to do so.

One very important distinction between this class action and an individual lawsuit (which is personal to you and based on your unique facts), is that the financial awards in the class action are pre-set and limited, while an individual lawsuit is based on a person’s actual injuries and does not have a limit. You also have a lawyer who is advocating for you, and not simply for the class.

How could this have happened at UCLA Health?

While Heaps may in the past have been recognized for his medical skill, and while he may not have sexually abused every patient, McGrath Kavinoky now represents more than 150 women against both Heaps and UCLA. In fact, UCLA’s own website acknowledges that “We are deeply sorry that a former member of our staff violated our policies and standards, our trust, and the trust of his patients.”1

Before Heaps was arrested (he now is charged with 20 felony sex crimes and faces more than 67 years in prison2), McGrath Kavinoky settled the first abuse case against Heaps and UCLA for $2.25 million dollars3.




1See https://www.uclahealth.org/statement-regarding-the-charges-against-dr-james-heaps
2See https://dailybruin.com/2020/08/03/former-ucla-doctor-james-heaps-now-faces-20-felony-sexual-misconduct-charges
3See https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ucla-gynecologist-sexual-abuse-settlement-20190708-story.html

Isn’t it faster and easier to just join the Class Action?

The resolution of the federal class action will not necessarily be achieved earlier than an individual lawsuit. In order to receive more than the minimum tier of $2,500, you’ll be required to complete paperwork and submit records justifying the additional amount of up to $12,500. To secure the maximum level of compensation under the class action, you must testify before a panel of experts, including a psychologist, a gynecologist, and a “special master.” You will be on your own to represent your interests and provide the proper paperwork—the attorneys who represent the “class” do not represent you individually.

When you are represented by McGrath Kavinoky, you have ready access to a team of female lawyers who take care of the work for you, and are by your side each step of the way.

What if I am not sure I want to proceed?

There is no one right course of action for everyone. Different situations, personalities, and personal situations lead to different actions. Please know that if you contact us for help, there is no obligation and no fee. We encourage you to call McGrath Kavinoky, remain anonymous and get the latest information from our dedicated female-only team to help you decide.

What is vital to understand is that if you don’t “opt out” of the class action within the 90 days allowed, you will forever give up your right to file an individual lawsuit. You will be stuck in the class and limited to the process and settlement amounts reflected there.

What if I don’t want anyone to know my identity?

You can contact McGrath Kavinoky anonymously to learn about your options. CLICK HERE to immediately connect you with our all-woman team on an anonymous line. Unlike many other firms, we are proudly female owned, have a team of female lawyers, and are committed that you only speak to a woman when you call. We are deeply committed to providing our unique perspective while protecting your privacy and providing an understanding, compassionate perspective.

FAQs

Please call or complete the form for a free, confidential consultation, at no cost or obligation. We only want you to fully understand your choice, since there are key, unforgiving deadlines approaching quickly.

McGrath Kavinoky is proudly woman-owned, woman-led, and you will only speak to a woman when you call.