Who is Dr. James M. Heaps?
Dr. James M. Heaps is a former UCLA gynecologist who is currently facing criminal charges and civil lawsuits for sexual assault and the harassment of patients during their medical visits. He was first investigated by both the state medical board and UCLA in 2014 in response to a complaint. Subsequently, after another complaint in 2017, UCLA opened a Title IX investigation into the allegations against Dr. Heaps. Still, UCLA permitted him to see patients for another six months. In June 2018, his retirement was announced through a letter to patients. On May 22, 2018, Dr. Heaps was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. While many survivors have spoken out, likely, others have not.
Here’s what you need to know about opting out of the class action and the benefits of pursuing an individual lawsuit.
Is it Best to Opt-Out of the Class Action Lawsuit?
Hundreds of women who came forward about their sexual assault by Dr. Heaps are opting out of a $73 million class-action lawsuit. Under the class action settlement, over 6,600 former patients can be compensated between $2,500 and $250,000. However, it’s more likely that the compensations for each participant in the class action will be significantly less — which is an injustice to the survivors who are left with emotional scars that can last a lifetime.
How Do I Opt Out?
All eligible patients of Dr. Heaps were sent a notice of the class action settlement and its opt-out deadline. After May 5, 2021, members who do not opt-out of the class-action lawsuit will not be able to pursue an individual claim against UCLA or Dr. Heaps. Since time is of the essence, it’s critical to contact a sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible to help you proceed with opting out and filing an individual claim before the deadline.
When You Need Help Speaking Out Against Your Perpetrator
At , we know that speaking out about sexual assault can be an intimidating and scary experience — especially when society often shames survivors and places blame. We are passionate about advocating for the rights of survivors. We understand that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. If you were sexually abused or harassed by UCLA gynecologist Dr. James M. Heaps, we are here for you.
Time is of the essence. You have until May 5, 2021, to opt-out of the federal class action and file an individual lawsuit. Our caring legal team is here to guide and support you every step of ensuring you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Contact us today at (833) 456-3529 to learn your rights.